In 2017, Marcus Patterson had just finished up playing basketball for Sage, a Division III college in Albany, New York. Each year at Sage, Patterson improved on the court. He had a great senior year and averaged 17.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and was named Gator of the Year as the team’s most valuable player. He had no idea what was next. Was it a real job? Was it a last-ditch effort to prolong his basketball dream?
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After a strong senior season, International Sports Recruits (ISR) reached out to Patterson with the opportunity to play in London while working towards his master’s degree at the University of East London. ISR helps student-athletes extend their careers while obtaining their master’s degree in the UK in just 12 months.
He returned home due to injury and finished his studies online. Patterson took a year off to work on his skills. Patterson said. “I knew I needed to work on my skill set and just put a lot of work in. I needed to get in the weight room to get stronger and avoid minor injuries. I really needed to sharpen my tools.”
After reaching out looking for an opportunity, one finally presented itself. The 6-foot-4 guard set off to Portugal for a basketball tour for one last go around. Patterson ended up making a name for himself that trip, one that ended up changing his career path.
Patterson landed a deal with Portimonense SC, a team in Portugal's Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol (LPB) I Divisão which is considered the third tier league. The Bronx, NY native was able to put his skills on display and
was one of the top contributors on the team. Patterson averaged 22 points per game, 9 rebounds per game, and chipped in 2 steals a game on the defensive end. The league took notice of Patterson as well, as many accolades began to roll in. The big guard was named All Portuguese First Division All-Import Team and All Portuguese First Division Second Team. He would aso finish seventh in the league’s MVP voting.
With his one year deal expiring following the season, Patterson was open to different options in Europe, although he liked what Portugal had to offer.
The Bronx, NY native announced he would be joining CA Queluz, which once stood on top in Portugal's Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol's (LPB). Patterson’s rise over just a few years from Division III to East London to the LPB’s third league and now its second league, Proliga, is quite remarkable. He talked about what it has been like going from a Division III basketball program to playing in Europe. “Athleticism is definitely a difference and the speed of the game is fast,” Patterson said. “A lot of the guys I played with or against didn’t have plus level athleticism. Here, they have it in addition to playing at a high level of basketball.”
He will now join a stacked Queluz team, who went 20-1 and was tops of the LPB’s I Divisão when the season was halted due to the infamous COVID-19. Many may see this move as one to strengthen Queluz’s current squad, but the club has its eyes set on the future with Patterson.
Patterson comes to the club at only 25 years old, fresh off his rookie campaign where he put up superb numbers. With not a lot of minutes logged professionally yet, the 6-foot-4 guard has a lot more left in the tank. “I love it here in Portugal,” Patterson says. “It is a beautiful country that offers amazing food, weather and a great style of living. It feels great to be wanted by such a historic club. I’m grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to get going with Queluz.”
Queluz sat atop Portugal this past year and are poised to make another run in 2020-2021 FPB Proliga but there remains uncertainty past then. Their top three scorers, Lanzinha, Pinto and Tati are 31, 32, and 37. While they remain at top shape and continue to dominate, a fall is inevitable. Having a young star in the making will help the club greatly.
This signing not only helps Queluz tremendously right now, it also holds the potential to be a big signing down the road. If Patterson keeps on progressing, Queluz has an opportunity to hold their spot on top of Portugal when their older stars decide to move on.