Shamar Patterson wins Athlete of the Week

Published 11:45 am Saturday, December 23, 2023

Lanett’s basketball team has several young players stepping up as leaders, none more so than Shamar Patterson. 

Patterson is just a sophomore, but that has not stopped him from being a leader for the Panthers. In the team’s win over Pike Road, Patterson finished with 20 points. Nine of his points came in the fourth period and overtime. 

Lanett coach Tay McCants touted Patterson as a player who was expected to play a large role this season, and Patterson is working to live up to those expectations. 

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“Just the trust that my head coach has for me,” Patterson said. “He wants me to step up and fill in that position.” 

Patterson is more of a lead-by-example player on the court. Patterson is not the most vocal player, but he does all the little things it takes to be a leader. The vocal side of Patterson’s leadership is an aspect he is growing into as he matures and gains more confidence. 

“Some of the drills we do, I try to be first,” Patterson said about leading by example. “[I] show the younger people what to do and how to go fast.” 

The Panthers have taken their fair share of bumps and bruises this season. A lot of the struggles for Lanett have been due to the competition the team has faced. 

The team has faced just two teams this season that weren’t in a higher classification. Some teams would focus on the overall record and get down but not Lanett. Patterson and the rest of the Panthers believe that the stiff competition will make them a force to be reckoned with in 2A. 

“All the upper-class teams that we’ve played, it’s just getting us ready for 2A ball,” Patterson said. “All the tough games we’ve played, it’ll just help us breeze past those teams that we have coming up.” 

Patterson has a keen ability to get to the rim and score the basketball. Early on in the season, Patterson has worked to become a more adept finisher and the results have shown on the court. 

Patterson is a great scorer, but it all starts on defense for him. Patterson is one of the “hustle guys” for Lanett. Patterson is the player diving on loose balls and showing unmatched effort on the defensive side. 

“I’m just telling myself I’ve got to get two points and get back on defense,” Patterson said. “When the loose ball goes up, I go up and get it for my teammates.” 

When Patterson was younger, he looked up to some of the Panthers before him. Lanett alum Trey Abner served as a role model for Patterson, and Patterson has worked to model his game after Abner’s. 

“Just his play style,” Patterson on what he liked about Abner’s game. “He’s very smooth and strong with the ball and he’s very aggressive. There were great players that have come through Lanett. Just watching them makes me want to be the best player that I can be.” 

Patterson is not just a basketball player, he is also a standout player on the football field. Patterson started for the Panthers in several different positions this past season. Patterson’s first love was basketball, but football has helped him to grow his skills on the court as well. 

“The drills that we did during the summer for football can help me on the court too,” Patterson said. “I would say I’m conditioned way more than I was last year. I can play the whole game without getting too tired.” 

Lanett is a very young team, and the Panthers are also led by a young coach. McCants graduated from Valley High School in 2007. McCants being younger has helped Patterson and the other athletes to relate to him more and feed off his energy. 

“He brings a lot of energy to the team, and we try to feed off of that,” Patterson said. “Him being a younger coach, he can see some of the things we see.” 

Patterson and the Panthers have some time off for Christmas, but the team will not be idle. Patterson plans on participating in open gyms and continuing to work on his craft.