By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
When you think of a 6’8” power forward with a chiseled body frame, packed with speed, power and strength, most would think you’re describing a future NBA Lottery pick. But when it comes to untapped potential in the areas of toughness, leadership and knowledge of the game, few can match the skill, will and physical strength of Kenwood Academy High School senior forward Manny Patterson, who recently led his team to the 2017 Illinois High School Association 4A State Regional Title in his final season.
“In eighth grade I earned MVP [honors] but my most memorable moment came last year against Curie Metro High School where we played as a team and upset them [to advance to the city championship in the Final Four].” Patterson said.
With nearly a seven-foot wingspan, Patterson has led his team in blocks and rebounding since his arrival as a transfer from North Lawndale College Prep in the fall of 2014.
He has earned several double doubles this season and was named to the Chicago Sun Times Newspaper All City team for the second year in a row, with last year being an honorable mention.
Patterson continues to dominate at the forward position by averaging a near double double in the category of points and rebounding throughout the Chicago Public League season.
In spite of Patterson’s individual dominance, his desire to see his teammates succeed is the most important thing to him. He hopes that his strength, wisdom and knowledge as a leader can encourage others to do their best.
Patterson said, “In the words of Kevin Durant: ‘Hard work beats talent, when talent fails to work.’”