Adrian Patterson was born into a family of athletes.
His Grandfather, Shorty Patterson, was drafted to the Minneapolis Lakers in the 10th round of the 1958 NBA draft. His father played at Minneapolis North high school and played Professionally. His uncle, William Patterson, started on the Minnesota Gophers football team in 1975. So it's safe to say that there were big shoes to fill.
Adrian grew up on the North side of Minneapolis where he started his athletic journey at North Commons and Fairview Park. He played with his cousin, Akeem, on every team in football, baseball and basketball. At every game Adrian's mother had to bring his birth certificate because every opposing team thought that he was too old. At 11 years old Adrian was almost 6 foot 2 inches tall. Now add that with basketball skill and agility, plus a competitive mentality, and you get skeptics from opposing teams and parents.
Right away you knew this kid was talented. Basketball came so natural for Patterson (aka Moose). Almost too natural where you wouldn't think he could do the things he did because his body was not in the best basketball shape. And for fear of being one of the best players to ever play in Minnesota, his opponents knew he would be unbelievable if that (he got in basketball shape) had ever occurred.
Moose teamed up with Rob Mestas on a Washburn eighth grade basketball team coached by John Sherman. Averaging 40 points a game, Moose was nothing less than remarkable. Moose took his talents to De La Salle and he teamed back up with Rob Mestas to join a cast of good high school basketball players. Darren Dearring was the leader and leading scorer on that state-bound team. But Moose made much more than a far cry as he made himself the go-to man by commanding the paint and creating mismatches all over the court. His sweet jumper would stretch defenses to 25 feet, which gave opposing big men fits. This De La Salle team was heavily favored to win it all, but came up short in the championship game.
Throughout that season, big Moose’s pictures and statistics were all over the papers and local news channels: you would have thought De La Salle was a college or a Pro team. One of the first freshmen to ever be feature on the cover of the star tribune, it was like a movie and what every player dreams about being a part of. Truly Moose had the appearance of being bigger than life and his aura made others gravitate toward him. He finished the season averaging around 18 points and 8 rebounds per game.
After a superb freshman campaign, Moose decided to team back up with his cousin, Akeem, at Washburn to silence the critics who were saying he couldn't have the same success in the city conference. His sophomore year he averaged around 20 points per game, but the chemistry was not there yet. The summer before his junior year, the returning starting five came together and decided to put their egos aside and make a real team effort to win a championship.
Moose, as their go-to man - as he had been his entire career - would lead his team in scoring at the city conference as well. The atmosphere at these electrifying games was unmatched by any other level in sports that year in Minnesota, and could be compared to that of a NCAA Big Dance tournament game.
Hundreds of people were turned away when North and Washburn played. North was the only team to beat the Millers that year. The Polars pulled one off at Washburn early in conference play. But there was no answer for big Moose as he drove Ingram and the Polars crazy, dominating inside and knocking down threes from the outside. Washburn beat a great North team twice that year. At North in "the big pay back" game and in the regional final game to go to state. In the state tournament Moose was steady in all the tournament games, as he controlled the pace of the game with his inside presents and high basketball IQ. They beat Hopkins and, after 2 trips to the state championship game, Moose walked away a winner with the Millers. Adrian was all tournament team and all metro Star Tribune that year. The U of M, Syracuse and Iowa to name a few heavily recruited him. What made him so good was his understanding of what he could do well and he took advantage of every angle he could whether using his body to create space for positioning or stepping a big out away from the basket to put them in a uncomfortable position to guard on the perimeter. Rob Mestas said that "I have never played with a player with a better skill set and a all round arsenal of inside out than what Moose packaged game in and game out."
But more importantly, he was the ultimate man's man and carried himself with a contagious confidence that would immediately comfort you and make you feel safe. He would boost your confidence and you would feel like you could do or achieve anything. His energy was vibrant and felt by all who knew him. Moose was born a leader, basketball just gave him a platform to show his greatness as a person and leader to a wide variety of different people. If everyone lived in to his or her empowering traits this world would be a better place and you could create your own canvas with no malice.
Currently Adrian has 7 kids and all of them excel at the sport that they play and or school they attend. Only time will tell if they ever will get as good as their father. It's going to be a great adventure watching them grow and achieve in life. Adrian (AJ) is currently playing for Phelps park football team in south Minneapolis, Bri is playing at Minneapolis Roosevelt and Adreone and Amon are playing with Minneapolis FAB. Adreone is also playing football for the sharks in Brooklyn Center. Natalia is still in training but will be ready real soon! Adrianna is playing high school basketball at Roseville and has a promising future. Demetra graduated last year and now is attending college at MSUM. Adrian has a great future to look forward to with all of his most prized possessions moving in the right direction. Big Moose a Minneapolis City Conference Legend!