Monday, March 8, 2021

Patron leaves legacy behind him

When senior forward Jonathan Patron decided to make the difficult transition to Plattsburgh State four years ago, few would have suspected that he would be one of the best players the PSUC basketball program has ever seen, but Patron always knew he had a champion inside him. 

Head coach Tom Curle said Patron is very much a success story because of his talent, hard-working attitude and personal growth. 

Coming from a small private school, coming to PSUC was a culture shock for Patron.

“When I first came here I was overwhelmed by how different it was [than the other school] and how much larger it was,” Patron said. “It was really hard transition.”

But after joining the team, Patron started feeling more and more comfortable and getting more involved on campus. 

Curle said when Patron first came to Plattsburgh and joined the program he was tentative and didn’t know where he fit into the PSUC campus and athletic program. 

“He was looking for a home and once he found he had a home here, that’s when I think things started to take off,” Curle said. “He said ‘OK, this is where I belong, and I’m gonna have an outstanding career.’”

In this season alone, Patron received SUNYAC Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year, placed on the 2019 Bevo Francis Top 50 watch list, named in the team of the week and received SUNYAC athlete of the week three times. 

But all these titles don’t mean much to Patron, his primary goal is winning championships and pushing himself to new personal records. 

“I’ve been getting individual awards since high school, it’s not a big deal to me,” Patron said. “I’m a thousand-point scorer in high school, thousand-point scorer in college. I’m more of a championship guy. As long as we win those I’m happy.”

Curle said that Patron is leaving as the career scoring leader, winning 82 games in averaging about 20 wins a season, going to three NCAA championships, a Sweet 16 tournament, and winning a SUNYAC championship with his teammates 

“In the 70 plus year history of the program, nobody has scored more points than Jon,” Curle said. 

Curle said Patrons greatest skills are his physical strength and skills that he has honed over the years. 

Patron’s legacy according to Curle is comprised of the friendships he has made with the other graduating seniors from the team, and the accolades surrounding his hard work.

“His biggest legacy is that he was a leader for the team,” Curle said. “I really see that group of seniors being friends for life, and having their families grow up together, that sort of thing, and they’d come back. That’d be his biggest legacy, being able to bring his kids in and say ‘We won that championship. This is what we did.’”

With graduation on the horizon, Patron is concentrating on trying to play basketball professionally, looking overseas, while figuring out what he wants to do with, what will be, his newly earned communications degree. 

Curle said that many of the leadership qualities and skills will help Patron succeed in whatever endeavors he chooses to pursue after graduation. 

“He knows teamwork, how to assess a situation, he knows how to operate under pressure,” Curle said. “He knows how to set lofty goals and how to achieve them, these are the skills that he may not even realize it yet that he developed those, but these are things that you develop as an athlete that work very well in the workforce.”

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