Faith Johnson Patterson

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New Gophers coach tours the ’hood

Any chance the school’s recruiting might include more local Black females?  

First-year Minnesota Women’s Basketball Coach Marlene Stollings, as expected, has made the rounds, getting to know the landscape outside the historically self-sheltered confines of the U of M campus. Unexpectedly, this has included meeting with Black folk. A meet-and-greet was hosted by Black Gopher alums, followed by a breakfast-time appearance at Heritage Park. Is the coach’s introductory tour in the hood for show or for real? Continue Reading →

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Girls hoopin’ in the hood

Finally, an urban girls’ summer league…







By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer


The basketballs are bouncing inside the Farview Park gym, which in itself isn’t surprising at the always-in-use city park on Minneapolis’ North Side. What is surprising is that it’s a Sunday afternoon, and the players doing the bouncing, shooting, and other basketball-related activities are female. “This is a very important step in advancing Minnesota basketball, especially for the city girls,” notes Jamiela Taylor, one of several locals who volunteer their time on Sundays in the first-year Chance Equal Opportunity (CEO) Run & Shoot Girls’ Basketball League. Taylor, the De La Salle girls’ freshman coach, told the MSR before one of her team’s games that she likes placing the girls in a draft, as well as naming each team after a Historically Black College or University — she proudly points out that her club is named for Spelman College. “That’s what drew me to be involved. Continue Reading →

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Blue Chip Basketball offers more talented women atheletes a chance to play

After this reporter covered a personal-high three softball games in the same day, which I did two Saturdays ago, covering back-to-back basketball games last Saturday night in downtown Minneapolis was relatively easy as a result.

Ashley Ellis-Milan executed a turnaround lay-up in the lane with a minute to play, and Tamara Moore and Pam January later hit three of four free throws in the Minnesota Black Ice’s 48-44 win over the St. Louis Surge in the nightcap game last Saturday in Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL) action. At least 100 people, including Minnesota Lynx center Janel McCarville, who stayed after the Lynx’s fourth win of the year, watched a very entertaining, though rough in spots, contest. “It was fun,” said Ellis-Milan, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds. “I can play free and play with girls who know what they are doing as well.”

The WBCBL, founded in 2004, is for women age 20 and older, says its website. Continue Reading →

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Fostering the ‘female warrior’ in sports

Athletics experts on nurturing strength in women and girls
I have seen over the years some athletes so mentally tough they would run through a wall when asked, get up, dust themselves off and repeat the feat. I’ve also seen some athletes who virtually were wuzzes — couldn’t handle the least bit of pain or saw adversity as higher than the highest mountain to overcome. Here’s the Carly Simon question — I bet you thought the former was a male, and a female the latter (buzzer sounds) — you’re wrong. Unfortunately the perception still exists that female athletes can’t be tough, resilient or competitive, and sometimes that perception is carried by females as well as their male counterparts. The University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center last month co-hosted a day-long Women’s Coaches Symposium February 7 at the school’s football stadium as part of the Women’s and Girls in Sport Week. Continue Reading →

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Local leading coach nominated for national honors







By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


DeLaSalle Girls’ Basketball Coach Faith Johnson Patterson is among this year’s nominees for USA Today national girls’ coach of the year.  Johnson Patterson in 2012 became the first Black female basketball coach to be inducted into the Minnesota Girls’ Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. “They [USA Today] go around to different states, looking for the top coaches,” Johnson Patterson said exclusively last week to the MSR. “People are selected from each region. My name was brought up several times. “It’s a two-to-three week period where you have to vote, and the top coach from each region is selected as a finalist. I think the winner gets a [cash prize] and a banner to be placed at the winner’s school,” surmised Johnson Patterson. Continue Reading →

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Top prep hoopsters vie for All-Star Classic honors


The 20th Annual Inner City All-Star Classic (ICASC), a basketball event held at the University of St. Thomas last Sunday, was certainly one to remember. The event featured the top girls and boys prep basketball players from the Class of 2013.  

Girls’ game

SADE CHATMAN (St. Paul Central) led the way with 19 points, (DeLaSalle) added 16, and TAYLOR CUNNIGHAM (St. Continue Reading →

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Rosters set for this year’s All-Star Classic


The 20th Annual Inner City All-Star Classic rosters are set. The event, to be held Sunday, June 16 at Schoenecker Arena on the campus of the University of St. Thomas, features some of the top local graduating boys’ and girls’ basketball players in the metro area.  

Girls’ Rosters (tip-off at 3 pm)

Team Faith, coached by FAITH JOHNSON-PATTERSON (DeLaSalle): CHANEL SCOTT (St. Paul Johnson); TAYLOR CUNNINGHAM (St. Continue Reading →

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Three top coaches


There are so many great high school basketball coaches in the state that there are too many to recognize. Here are three basketball coaches who deserve a little recognition for their efforts.    

Since becoming head coach in 2000, VERN SIMMONS has put the St. Paul Johnson boys’ program on the map with eight state tournament appearances (2004, ’06, ’07, ’09, ’10, ’11 and ’12) in the past decade. The Governor’s won the 3A title in 2010. Continue Reading →

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State tournament highlights


Wow! What a state tournament. So much that could be written, but only so much space to fill — two three-peats, a historic moment for a coach, another coach leaving the game, and some outstanding prep careers coming to a close. Here are some highlights from the tournament.  


FAITH JOHNSON-PATTERSON(DeLaSalle) became the first in state history to coach two different schools to three-peats. Continue Reading →

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Stereotypes at play in neglect of girls’ coaching achievements




DeLaSalle Girls’ Basketball Coach Faith Johnson-Patterson will receive the Special Merit Award at the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda in St. Paul on Feb. 6 at the 2013 Minnesota National Girls and Women in Sports Day ceremony. The honor “came out of the blue,” says Johnson-Patterson. “What an honor — my main purpose, my work has not been in vain.”

This is the second consecutive month this year that she has been honored: Johnson-Patterson also reached the 400-win milestone on January 11. Continue Reading →

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