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Tywanna Patterson: Patrick's passing the baton

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Behind Patrick Patterson, always in the background but very much in support of their son, stood Tywanna and Buster Patterson.

One of the more vocal and visible parenting duo in recent Kentucky men's basketball history, Tywanna and Buster Patterson played a key role in Patrick Patterson's development, growth and decisions at UK.

On Friday, the day Patterson announced he will stay in the NBA Draft, effectively ending his collegiate career at Kentucky, Patterson's parents sat a few feet off the left. Both were visibly beaming with pride.

"I consider it like he's passing the baton," Tywanna Patterson said of Patrick's decision to turn pro. "Everybody that is leaving is basically passing the baton to someone else, so therefore we're back on top. We'll always be great at Kentucky. He's not leaving (the program) in disarray or anything like that. He's just passing the baton on. I can live with that and feel good about stepping away and letting someone else carry that baton."

Tywanna Patterson both smiled and fought back tears during Patrick's 15-minute news conference inside the Memorial Coliseum media room.

A year earlier in the exact same place, the Pattersons talked about their pleasure in Patrick's decision to come back to school and get his degree in three years. Although Kentucky fell short of its national championship aspirations, Tywanna Patterson said she was satisfied with Patterson's final year at UK.

"I think I'll remember most of the good times, like this year, and him smiling a lot and winning games and just having fun," Tywanna Patterson said. "I'll remember this year more so than the other two. Him coming back and just being a different person and being a happier person and jelling with his teammates and everybody getting along, I think I'll remember this as a special team."

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