Anya Patterson first dribbled a basketball when she was five years old.
She hasn’t put it down since.
“It was the very first sport I’ve ever wanted to play,” Patterson told MemphiSport during a recent telephone interview from Humboldt, Tenn. “And I love it when I first (played).”
Patterson’s infatuation for basketball has afforded her to emerge as the marquee player for Humboldt Middle School. To her credit, her contributions while occupying the point guard position was among the reasons the Lady Vikings have made considerable progress in recent years.
Humboldt Middle finished the 2013-14 campaign with a 12-6 mark, a commendable improvement given the Lady Vikings managed just a single win last year. Fortunately for Patterson, that she was the team’s facilitator didn’t go unnoticed.
During the Lady Vikings’ recent team banquet, Patterson was named the team’s Offensive Most Valuable Player, an honor that prompted the team’s featured player and Killeen, Texas native to assume the proverbial selfless approach, much like she has become accustomed to displaying on the court.
In a nutshell, Patterson doesn’t shy away from the fact that she has demonstrated time and again there is no “I” in team, but rather her competitive drive is predicated largely on her ability to esteem her peers.
“To me, it was not about getting all the recognition and scoring all the points,” Patterson said. “It was mostly about getting my teammates involved.”
As if her accolades off the court aren’t enough — Patterson boasts the team’s highest grade point average at 3.4286 — Patterson’s mother, Marquita Bryson Patterson said her daughter’s keen ability to inspire her teammates is an astounding attribute for a 13-year-old amateur athlete.
“It’s just a reflection of what I’ve always try to instill in her,” Marquita Patterson said. “I tell her that no matter where you are, always be humble about where you are.”
As her mother recalls, she isn’t the only person who is quite attentive whenever her daughter suits up for a game. Although Anya has lofty aspirations of playing basketball at the collegiate level, experts have already taken notice of her all-around display on the court.
“Actually, Anya had a couple of scouts at her games,” Marquita Patterson explained. “They weren’t actually scouting her, but they commended her on her performance.”
That Anya continues to flourish on the court is something by which her mother and father, Cedric Patterson, have embraced since they moved from Texas to Tennesse years ago. Although Anya’s parents have been divorced since 2004, both are regular attendees of her games and taking the necessary steps to ensure their daughter is successful on the court.
“It’s definitely pleasing to see parents raise their kids in the right way,” Marquita Patterson said. “Those qualities are what I’m really big on. Even though her dad and I are divorced, we attend all of her games. We’re her biggest cheerleaders.”
Although the regular season has ended at Humboldt Middle, Anya’s knows there is still much more basketball to play.
Just on a larger scale.
That’s because the rising eighth grader is destined to put her hoops talents on display this summer when she plays for the Humboldt Junior Lady Vikings 14-and-under AAU team that will compete in tournament throughout the region.
For Anya, appearing on an AAU stage will be yet another golden opportunity to become a floor general, something she has handled with ease in recent years for Humboldt Middle.
“I’m looking to upgrade my skills,” Anya said. “I love (basketball) too much to stop. I take my work really seriously.”
Which, as far as she is concerned, is why she doesn’t plan to put the basketball down anytime soon.