BRO got a chance last week to interview Andre Patterson, the Bruins' 6-6 and ½ freshman power forward.
BRO: So, you're originally from Indiana…
Andre: No, I'm originally from Los Angeles. I was born here. I lived in Indiana for three years, my first three years of high school I lived with my dad. Then I moved back here.
BRO: Where did you live in Indiana?
Andre: Fort Wayne.
BRO: So, you left LA when you were 14. That must've been quite a change. How was Fort Wayne different from Los Angeles?
Andre: Life is slower, that's true. But the basketball is really good out there. The crowds are really big. Compared to Los Angeles, the fans in Indiana are really intense about high school basketball. High school basketball is a lot more important in Indiana than it is in Los Angeles.
BRO: And why did you come back to LA?
Andre: I wanted my mom to get a chance to see me play. My mom, my grandmother, they had never seen me play in high school. Plus, I wanted to go to UCLA.
BRO: You already knew that back in Indiana?
Andre: Yeah, and I was hoping if I moved out here the coaches could see me play, and I would get recruited by UCLA.
BRO: Who was recruiting you when you were back in Indiana?
Andre: Duke, Michigan, basically the whole Big 10, ACC, a lot of schools in the East, Midwest and South.
BRO: And when did UCLA start recruiting you?
Andre: I played in the EBO Tournament in Fresno, and they wrote about me on Prep-West Hoops, and then the UCLA coaches started checking me out. I had already moved back out here, after Easter Vacation. The UCLA coaches came to see me at the NIKE Camp in July, and that's when they offered me the scholarship. Which was perfect, since UCLA was where I always wanted to go.
Andre: The basketball program and the academics.
BRO: Have you decided on your major?
Andre: Sports Management, probably. I want to be an agent.
BRO: Just stay away from DeShaun Foster.
Andre: It might be too late for that.
BRO: So, what's it been like coming in here as a freshman? You're not the star of the team anymore, like you were in high school. In fact, you're on such a deep team, you're not starting. Has that been hard to adjust to?
Andre: Actually, it hasn't been that hard to adjust. I'm definitely not used to coming off the bench, but that just gives me the motivation I need to work harder. My goal is to be a starter one day. I just see this as being a great learning experience, playing with so many good players, and playing with so many guys with experience.
BRO: What's it like going up against a guy like Dan Gadzuric in practice? You probably never played anybody so big in high school.
Andre: Definitely. Sometimes, he just dominates the practices. But it's a good learning experience to play against him, it's really helping to make me better. What I'm really seeing is the difference between high school and college. In high school, I didn't have to work that hard to be really good. Now, I've learned how hard you have to work if you want to be a good college player, and I definitely want to be as good as I can be, so I'm putting in the work I need to get there.
BRO: What part of your game do you think you need to work on the most?
Andre: My jump shot. Definitely, my jump shot.
BRO: And what do you see as your strengths?
Andre: I'm quick off my feet and I can really jump. I think I have a good knack for getting the ball, too. So, I think I can rebound really well, and get to the basket. I just need a consistent jump shot.
BRO: Thanks, Andre. Good luck for the season.
Andre: Thanks, Mr. Miller.