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Sac State secures Sierra center
Patton likely to redshirt to fillout 6-foot-8 frame
pic patton n
Joshua Patton signed Wednesday to play NCAA Division I next fall at Sacramento State. He shared the National Letter of Intent early period signing session with his parents, Elene and Gary Patton, along with family, Sierra High administrators and the Timberwolves coaching staff. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT / The Bulletin

Joshua Patton can rest comfortably now.

On National Signing Day, Sierra High’s 6-foot-8 center and all-time leading shot blocker made it official Wednesday, committing to play NCAA Division I basketball at Sacramento State.

“This takes the pressure off of me,” said Patton, who was also being pursued by Pacific, Cal State Northridge, UC Riverside and the University of Portland. “Now I can just focus on playing basketball and continue working hard on my game.”

Timberwolves coach Scott Thomason is aware of Patton’s work ethics.

“He’s getting everything he deserves. Joshua is a great kid – he spends a lot of time in the gym, doing what it takes to become a better player,” he said.

Patton’s signing also takes the burden off of Thomason. “I won’t have to answer questions (about Joshua) from college recruiters,” he said.

On this day – National Letter of Intent early period signing – Joshua Patton was joined by folks, Elene and Gary, along with family, school officials, friends and the Timberwolves coaching staff in the foyer of the school’s large gym.

Elene Patton was thrilled to see another of her sons continue to play college D-I hoops. Jerrod Patton will play this year at Fresno State, coming aboard as a transfer from Modesto Junior College. Justin Patton is also there, hoping to walk on for the Bulldogs.

The plan calls for the younger Patton to redshirt for the Hornets during the 2015-16 season.

“Joshua has a huge upside,” said Sac State coach Brian Katz, formerly of Delta College. “(He’s) really long and athletic player with big shoulders.

“He is a little thin right now, but he will eventually be very strong and powerful.”

The Hornets coach also praised Thomason’s program for developing his recruit.

“(Joshua) comes from a great high school program, has been taught fundamentally from the ground up, and will get nothing but better every single day. We really like his skill set, and he has the potential to be a very good shooter,” Katz said.

Last year, Patton helped the Timberwolves win their second consecutive Valley Oak League title, compiling a 20-7 overall record and 12-2 in league.

In return, Patton was named VOL MVP, all-area MVP, and first team all-VOL defense.

Offensive, he is coming off a season where he averaged 11.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots per game.