By Steve Carpenter
Hutchinson CC Sports Information Director
LUBBOCK, Texas – Jamie Patrick knows a little something about playing in a national basketball tournament.
She's played in eight such games when she was a Blue Dragon player.
Some of the Hutchinson Community College women's basketball players Patrick is now an assistant coach for may not be aware of that fact.
"I don't think some of them actually realize that I was on one of the national runner-up teams," said Patrick on Sunday after a Blue Dragon shootaround at the Rip Griffin Center in preparation for the NJCAA Tournament, which begins Monday in Lubbock as Hutchinson takes on Western Nebraska at 6 p.m.
"My picture's up in the locker room. I told somebody the other day that I finished third and second when I played here and they were like 'what?'
"I don't think they realize what type of player I was at Hutch and I try to tell them things.
"At first, it was kind of hard (transitioning to a coach) because I wanted to be the one doing it. Now I have to motivate players to do it."
With her collegiate playing days about two seasons behind her, Patrick has aspirations of coaching basketball. After a year in the private sector, Patrick began her coaching quest by joining the Blue Dragon women's staff this season.
It's not been a bad first go-around for Patrick as a coach – a 30-3 overall record, No 8 national ranking and an at-large bid to the national tournament.
Patrick played in high school at Hutchinson Central Christian High School for her father, Erin. She followed her sister, Laura (a 2012 NJCAA All-American), to Hutchinson and played for head coach John Ontjes in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.
A two-year All-Jayhawk West and All-Region VI performer, Patrick was a second-team NJCAA All-American in 2014.
In eight national tournament games, Patrick scored 128 points and knocked down 19 3-pointers as Hutchinson finished third in 2013 and was national runner-up in 2014.
Some quick highlights of Patrick's NJCAA Tournament games:
+ She scored 25 points, hitting four 3-pointers in a 73-71 quarterfinal victory over Northwest Florida State in 2013. She hit the game-winning free throws with 2 seconds left in the game.
+ In 2014, the Dragons trailed NOC-Enid by five points with 2 minutes to go in a second-round matchup. Patrick buried a 3-pointer with 1:32 remaining in regulation to pull Hutch within 63-60. She wound up with 20 points, hitting five crucial 3-pointers in a 77-68 overtime win.
+ Patrick had 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in helping the Blue Dragons rally from an 18-point deficit in the 2014 quarterfinals. The Blue Dragons defeated Tyler 87-77. Patrick became Hutchinson women's basketball's all-time leading scorer on that night.
"I hit a couple of big 3s against Enid and Kalani Purcell made a big play to tie the game," Patrick recalled. "I remember my freshman year playing Northwest Florida, we were tied and I got a backside boards and got fouled. They tried to ice me with two timeouts and I hit both free throws and those were the free throws to win the game.
"Those are the moments you remember."
Patrick is currently The Blue Dragons' second all-time leading scorer with 1,098 points. She is third in total field goals (397) and seventh in made 3-pointers (132).
After Hutchinson, Patrick played two very successful years at Colorado State before graduating in 2016.
"I graduated from Colorado State after two years there and was doing just a typical desk job," Patrick said. "I was playing a pick-up league here and there, but it wasn't enough basketball for me. Coming back to Hutch was to pursue my passion of being a coach."
The transition has been tough at times because she is so closely removed from her playing career. But coming from a coaching family and once again being with Ontjes and assistant coaches Travis Kirk and Phil Anderson, she said she has a great group of people to mentor her in this profession.
So what's been the biggest difference from being a Blue Dragon player to become a Blue Dragon coach?
"I was used to being in the back of the bus (as a player) with my headphones on, not paying attention to anything," she said. "Now riding in the front, you are constantly talking about what we are going to do and on the way home, we analyze the game."
Now entering her first national tournament as a coach, Patrick has high hopes for the current Blue Dragons to achieve the one thing she wasn't able to - win a national championship.
"Losing (at the national tournament) is still engraved in my memory. You never want to end the season on a loss. I'm just trying to get our players to give it everything they've got and step up and make the big play when we need it."