Addison Patterson is one of the next names in the on-going wave of basketball players from Canada. Photo BioSteel

One of the big debates this past season in Canadian youth basketball circles was Addison Patterson or Cashius McNeilly as the top freshman (both are 2001-born) in the country. The discussion has been enough to build up a perceived rivalry between the two young prospects. Patterson, for his part, downplays any talk of an off-the-court rivalry, calling McNeilly “my bro”.

Patterson was asked on the Taking The Charge podcast what he thought of when he hears the name Cashius McNeilly: “He’s a great player. He’s my bro. People think we have a rivalry. We do on the court, but off the court that’s my bro. He’s a good player.”

Cashius McNeilly is either A or A1 to Addison Patterson’s A1 or A when it comes to top prospects in the Canadian freshmen class. Photo NPH

Both players impressed this season with Patterson more than holding his own at powerhouse Athlete’s Institute despite arriving after the start of the school year from Bishop Reding. McNeilly for his part excelled and dominated games at time for Thornlea.

After the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA) season, both played at the BioSteel All-Canadian Futures Game and the Jordan Brand Classic Global Showcase – facing off against each other in both games. And both times Patterson got the better in both games with the victory in both and taking home the MVP trophy from both showcases.

“It was a great week. I came in both games aggressive and just trying to win. It was important to keep my body ready to play a week straight,” Patterson said.

“It was good to compare myself against the rest of the world – just to see where I kind of am at.”

When asked what he learned from the Jordan Brand Classic Global Showcase, Patterson said: “It is important to communicate and I think I got better at that. Not everybody speaks English so I had to find other ways to communicate there.”

It seemed a given that Patterson would actually team up with McNeilly this summer for the Canadian cadet team at the FIBA U16 Americas Championship 2017 in Formosa, Argentina. And Patterson said he was looking forward to the tournament from June 14-18.

“I am very excited to play with this talented Canada team. We want to go down there and win it all,” Patterson said.

He continued: “Offense will take care of itself on this team but we need some hungry guys that are gonna sit down and guard.”

And about playing together with McNeilly and Josh Hemmings, who also played at the Jordan Brand Classic Global Showcase, Patterson said: “It’s gonna be crazy. There will be a lot of talent on that team especially us three. We need to be leaders on that team.”

As it turns out, neither Patterson nor Hemmings were included on the U16 team.

“It’s great. It’s a pride thing whenever we play, especially when we go down to the US. We have something to prove all the time. It’s fun going hard every time on the court. … (The biggest misconception Americans have about Canadian basketball is) that we’re soft. Americans think we’re soft. But we go hard every time.” – Addison Patterson 

Regardless, Patterson is part of another wave of high level talent from Canada.

“It’s great. It’s a pride thing whenever we play, especially when we go down to the US. We have something to prove all the time. It’s fun going hard every time on the court,” Patterson said.

When asked what the biggest misconception Americans have about Canadian basketball is, Patterson said: “That we’re soft. Americans think we’re soft. But we go hard every time.”

Patterson picked up the game when was 8 years old and looked up to LeBron James because he was an all-around player. Patterson likes getting himself hyped up before games by listening to G Herbo and Chief Keef. He also named Snapchat as his favorite app.

If you ask him about school, you might want to talk about his favorite subject math and avoid science – his worst subject in the classroom.

Of course, this is a still a very young man we’re talking about a 16-year-old. Still, Patterson seems mature for his age in how he talks with you. But, there is still a kid in there no?

When asked for one way people can tell you’re still a kid, he countered with: “Off the court when you play video games with me.”

Patterson is a NBA 2K fan and his team of choice is Portland.

“Why?” he’s asked.

“Damian Lilliard”.

Hard to argue that. Just like it’s hard to argue he’s one of the hottest young prospects coming up through the ranks in Canada.

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