Tywanna Patterson, one of the most beloved of all UK basketball mothers, was a special guest on this morning’s The Leach Report with Larry Vaught filling in for Tom Leach as the show’s host. Mama Patterson had a lot to say about her son, Patrick Patterson, playing for another Wildcat alum, Dwane Casey, with the Raptors in Toronto.
The conversation then turned toward Patrick’s recruitment and Billy Gillispie, who coached Patrick in his first two seasons in Lexington. She shared a story of Gillispie forcing Patrick to continue running with blood coming through his shoes, and then she opened up about meeting with Gillispie after a game, which led to meeting with Mitch Barnhart about Gillispie.
Really candid stuff here:
I did call a meeting with Coach Gillispie, and my husband and I were in the meeting with him and another assistant — we had just lost a game because he changed it up at the very last minute and I was like, ‘Why did you do that? We were winning. We were winning.’ He was like, ‘Well if I had to do it all over again, I would do the same thing.’
He was very trite and very — kind of like mean — and I just lost it. I said some not-so-nice things to him and my husband let me say what I had to say. He was like, ‘Buster are you going to let your wife talk to me this way?’ (Buster) was like, ‘That’s between you and my wife. She has the right to speak her mind. You don’t want to hear from me.’
So, one thing led to another, and after that moment, that’s when I realized I had lost respect for him as a coach. Things started happening and happening, and I’m like, I can’t have my son on this team with this man. But I didn’t want him to sit out a year, and he decided to stick it out. But I’m like, after this is over, this can’t happen. So I went to Barnhart and told him some things and he was like, ‘Not to worry, not to worry. Just wait until this season is over. Hang in there.’ And I told him what was happening to some of the other players, because I was in touch with the moms, and they didn’t want to say anything; they came to me, I guess because I’m outspoken. But I’m like, this has to change. This is not working. So, and it did. Thank God it did.”
Listen to the entire interview between Tywanna and Larry Vaught in the show’s podcast below. Tywanna comes in about halfway through the show, after another good interview with Paul Karem.