(Adairsville, GA) - One of North Georgia's biggest prep stars from 2010 made his college choice based on priorities. A Best of Preps basketball honoree on all top media all-star rosters across the region, Adairsville's Patrick Printup didn't base his decision on gym capacity, scholarship perks, or his odds of seeing playing time. For Patrick, his priorities are simple.
"The coach puts God first, then education, and then sports," said Printup of Georgia Northwestern Head Men's Basketball Coach, David Stephenson. "That's what my high school coach (Jacob Travis) has taught me here at Adairsville. I like that."
At only 5-foot-8, 165 pounds, the two-sport star captained his Tiger team from Bartow County with a strong presence on and off the court. "I think he's a good kid, a hard worker, someone who could contest for not only a roster spot, but a starting position for us," said Stephenson of his newest Bobcat. "It's an open playing field for guards this year after losing our starting point guard after this past season."
At his letter of application signing in the Adairsville High School Media Center on May 25, plenty of supporters of Patrick showed they believe he can succeed in the classroom and on the court this coming year. Attending the special signing ceremony were more parents, step-parents, grandparents, relatives, and friends than you can shake a stick at.
Not a bat, though, right, Patrick?
As talented as he is on the hardwood and on the gridiron, a baseball diamond is not in his future. The multi-talented Printup who lettered in basketball and football says it just took one pitch to end his diamond dreams.
"He (Patrick) broke his thumb in grade school ball when a pitcher hit him right on the thumb while he was batting," said his great-grandmother, Betty Richards. "Now I helped raise him. I've seen him hurt his ankle pretty badly in football or basketball and he just played his way through the pain. But that baseball, child. It just took one hit with that ball and he retired right then and there."
But don't let that be a reflection of just how tough Printup is these days. The 2010 Adairsville grad has come a long way since that fifth grade mishap at that plate.
Some creativity on the practice courts landed a backboard full of glass on top of the soon-to-be college freshman not long ago. "I decide to shoot video of one of my teammates dunking a basketball," said Printup. "So I lied down on the floor right under the basket so I could see him flying over head." What Printup didn't count on was the backboard breaking with the thunderous dunk. "Glass was just flying everywhere. But I was o.k. I just wanted that video. They said I"d need stitches on my ear, but I wanted that to be on YouTube as soon as possible. It was awesome."
With a flair for the camera, Printup even anchored the school's morning announcements for two years updating the student body on the latest campus news. "It was more of an ESPN-type deal," said Printup. "It's interesting," said Adairsville Media Specialist Lena Adams who proudly shared that the school keeps all of Patrick's on-camera highlights on file.
With a passion for the creative, Printup is planning his major at Georgia Northwestern right now. "I'm not sure which program I want to be in yet," said Printup. "There are a lot of options. I just want to take my time and pick something I really like. I'm really excited about starting it all this fall.â€ But what's the first priority today for Printup? "We are all keeping our eyes open for a job for Patrick right now," said Tameka Wills, Patrick's Mom. "He'll find one. He's always found ways to rise up and persevere."
Printup will be taking that perseverance, along with a huge heart, to college this fall. It's a combination which keeps him thinking of giving back to his community. "Patrick always helps with our summer basketball camps for the grade schoolers," said Travis. "From kids he just met to my pre-schooler in our driveway, Patrick is special." An approving smile came across Travis' face when he told the story of Patrick coming over to his house one day and how it didn't take the teenager long to find a seat in his driveway right next to his then two-year-old son. "They just lined up all the toy cars and starting pushing them around, just like they had planned the day together or something."
An early season game in his sophomore year at Adairsville really left an impression on Patrick's coach from the start. "Patrick and I started here the same year," said Travis. "We came up together, I guess you could say. One game early his first year, Patrick got a steal late in a game which gave his team a chance to upset the defending state champs. We didn't win the game, but you could tell that Patrick had the ability to stand on his own two feet and make things happen. And he wouldn't give up, ever. I guess you could say he is stubborn, but in a really good way."
As well as parents and step-parents, Printup has two brothers, Benjamin, 17, and Zadren, 15 who both attend Adairsville High School. He also has two step-brothers, Terrence Wills, Jr., 19, and TaMichael Wills, 16. The younger Wills brother attends Cass High School.
Tryout dates and times for Georgia Northwestern Men's and Women's Basketball programs will be set in the near future. For more information on Patrick Printup or the athletic programs of Georgia Northwestern, contact the Office of Sports Information and Social Media at (706) 764-3813 or e-mail the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.