Isabella Patterson is a junior forward/center on the Braden River girls basketball team. Patterson, who is 6-foot-2, is averaging nine points and four rebounds per game, according to MaxPreps. She is third and second on the team, respectfully, in each category.
When did you start playing basketball?
I started at age 3. Where I'm from (Springfield, Ill.), we have a place called The Gym. It's a recreation center and I played in a rec league there. My family was into it and I have always been tall for my age. I think my family wanted me to try different things to see what I liked, but basketball was always the most fun for me.
What is the appeal to you?
I love the competitiveness. It's a team sport but it's also about yourself at the same time. You're also with a diverse group of people. Each one affects your life in a different way. Eventually it becomes like a big family.
What is your best skill?
Defense, just overall. If someone gets beat, I'll be there to help. I've always been good at that. I like helping get the ball back so we can start our next possession.
What is your favorite memory?
It has to be last year when we went to the state Final Four. Even though we didn't win, it was an amazing experience. I remember when we first got there and walked inside. It was so bright and so big. We were all looking around. There was this feeling that we finally made it. Not everyone gets to experience that.
What is your biggest challenge?
I'm always trying to help out others, so my first inclination is always to pass the ball, even if that's not the right play. I need to be able to make my own decision and do things for myself a bit more on offense.
What is your favorite food?
Fried rice with chicken. It always has been.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?
My favorite show is 'One Tree Hill.'
What are your hobbies?
I read a lot. My favorite books are the 'Shadowhunter Chronicles' series [by Cassandra Clare]. I also play the flute, but I haven't done that as much recently. I just haven't had time.
Which superpower would you pick?
Telekinesis. It's the manipulation of the body and the mind, so technically I could do anything. If I wanted to fly, I'd just manipulate my body into flying.
What is the best advice you have received?
To not be so focused on what people think of you. In life, in basketball, people are sometimes going to observe what I'm doing. I can't let that get in my head to the point that I stress out and make decisions I otherwise wouldn't make.
Finish this sentence: "Isabella Patterson is …"
… Compassionate. Even if I'm struggling with something or I'm not in the best place [mentally], I'm going to go check on you to make sure you're doing OK.