By LARRY VAUGHT
Tywanna Patterson thought it was just going to be another ordinary day, or as ordinary as days could be since the University of Kentucky lost to West Virginia almost two weeks ago in the NCAA Tournament.
Instead, while she was at the mall in Huntington, W.Va., Wednesday night, she started getting text messages, voice mails and phone calls from friends congratulating her on her son, Patrick, leaving UK for the NBA.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I thought, Ã¢â‚¬ËœWhat are you talking about.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Then I found out UK released a statement saying Patrick and the four freshmen are leaving for the NBA and will declare for the draft,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Tywanna Patterson Wednesday night. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I said, Ã¢â‚¬ËœReally, nobody told me.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Since her son is 21, she thought maybe he had made that decision on his own even though when she last saw him Sunday the plan remained for him to wait a few more weeks to make his final decision about whether to return to the Wildcats for his senior season or not. Underclassmen have until April 25 to declare for the draft and have until May 8 to withdraw their name from the draft even though Patterson would not have that option since he did that last year. The 2010 NBA Draft will take place on June 24.
She tried to call her son but could not get him to answer his cell phone. Next she called DeWayne Peevy of the UK sports information office. He told her the statement from UK Ã¢â‚¬Å“wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t officialÃ¢â‚¬Â but that coach John Calipari had released a statement that the freshmen along with Patrick would be declaring for the NBA draft and leaving UK.
Once her son called her back, he told her he still intended to think about it a Ã¢â‚¬Å“week or two and then make a decisionÃ¢â‚¬Â just as they planned.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We were confused people by then,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have a problem with it going out and not being official. It is his decision. He has not declared for the draft and once he does he canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t back out because he declared for the draft last year. But I am very upset with all this because the statement Patrick gave to DeWayne, he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know it was being released tonight.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
Tywanna Patterson also tried to call coach John Calipari, but he did not return her phone call.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Me personally, I think it is CalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s way to get recruits to commit and wants to make sure they know John (Wall), DeMarcus (Cousins), Daniel (Orton) and Eric (Bledsoe) are gone along with Patrick,Ã¢â‚¬Â Tywanna Patterson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Pat didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know they were sending that statement out tonight.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Her son asked her to not comment on what happened because it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t impact what he had planned. If he does declare for the draft, he plans to call a press conference to explain his decision just as he did last year when he returned to UK.
However, she still wants to make it clear that he has not signed any papers declaring for the draft Ã¢â‚¬â€ and he has not hired an agent as was being reported Wednesday night.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have had agents contacting me through various people and friends. We have not signed anything with anyone,Ã¢â‚¬Â Tywanna Patterson said.
She hopes Kentucky will release an official statement today clarifying the situation. Patrick Patterson ranked second in the SEC and 12th nationally in field goal percentage (.575) last season and he ranks 13th on KentuckyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all-time scoring list (1,564) and sixth on KentuckyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s career double-double list with 30.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I want to thank the fans who have supported me all three years,Ã¢â‚¬Â Patrick Patterson said in the release from UK. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I also want to thank the coaches for putting me in a position to showcase other parts of my game as well as my versatility. Lexington and UK will always be a special place to me.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Tywanna Patterson said Peevy apologized to her and told her he thought Patrick Patterson understood a statement was being released.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“But they made it sound like Patrick was leaving for sure. My son has not yet decided. Maybe he will go, maybe he wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t done in a good way.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are going to do it right if Patrick does leave. That is how Patrick is. He will have a press conference and tell people what is going on. It will be his day and his decision. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the way it should be and not the way this was handled.Ã¢â‚¬Â