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Posted On: 12/2/17 7:41 AM
The Patterson Clippers have been a top-notch basketball program in the city of Baltimore for some time now. These days in the high school hoops scene, it’s somewhat difficult to stay atop of your respective conference or class due to players transferring so often, but Head Coach Harry Martin has done a great job embracing a winning culture. After losing their best player Marvin Price (2019) this summer when he decided to transfer to Huntington Prep, there was concern with how they’d fare this year in city play. Luckily, they were able to land a transfer from Riverdale Baptist in 2020 guard Zack Blackwell.
Blackwell made the varsity team at Riverdale Baptist as a freshman, but didn’t see much time. He played a number of games at the junior varsity level to get some game experience under his belt, but ultimately he felt he wasn’t a fit and that Patterson made more sense both for his game and his academics.
“Patterson is known for being a winning program,” Blackwell told Prep Hoops. “They just won a 2A championship last year, and I think I can come in and be a big piece for them to do it again.”
The six-foot guard played this spring/summer with Team Thrill on the UA Circuit. Throughout this time, Blackwell focused on becoming a knockdown shooter when left open. He has the ability to put the ball on the deck and finish efficiently around the rim, but he knew if he could extend his range consistently, it’d make his match up’s job much harder to guard him.
Playing in Baltimore City isn’t for everybody. The intensity and physicality is present night in and night out. Blackwell fits that mold perfectly. He has a good build for his size and age to go with a ‘never back down’ mentality that bleeds through his teammates as well.
Blackwell currently has a 3.4 GPA. He told Prep Hoops he hasn’t heard from any schools, but plans on majoring in business if he is lucky enough to continue his career at the collegiate level.
Although Patterson has a number of new faces this season, I’ve seen them play more than a handful of times this summer/fall and I haven’t seen a group move the ball quite like them. They have scorers at every position in their starting five, and Blackwell is one of them. However, they never settle for contested shots, all of the players understand how to play and work the defense until they get a shot around the rim or an open outside shot.
Poly is the overwhelming favorite in the city this season, but don’t overlook this Patterson group. They start four guards, but they’ll get after you every possession and make you pay for the slightest mistake you make defensively.