It took a little bit of time for former Newark High School basketball standout Dylan Patrick to find the right fit to start his collegiate career both academically and athletically.
But once he did, Patrick is happy as can be to be enrolled at Upper Iowa University and a new member of the Peacocks basketball program.
Last week, Patrick signed an Intent To Play document for UIU, located in Fayette, Iowa, after helping lead the Norsemen to a 20-8 record last winter. The 6-foot, 2-inch guard completed his basketball career at NHS finishing No. 12 on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,280 points while posting 693 tallies (24.8 points per game), third all-time for a single season in Norsemen lore.
Patrick also garnered a slew of prestigious awards including All-State Second Team honors from both the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and the Associated Press as well as The Times 2017-18 Boys Basketball Player of the Year honor. He now ascends to play with UIU, which competes within the 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and is affiliated at the NCAA Division II level.
Patrick couldn’t be happier with his choice even though it took him a while to decide on his future academic and hoops home.
“I kind of waited a long time in the process, because there were a few other schools I was seriously looking into (Clarke University, St. Ambrose University, Lewis University) and I didn’t want to make to quick a decision,” Patrick said. “But Upper Iowa contacted me, and it took about a week and a half before I had my first visit.
“Once I got there I just fell in love with everything. It’s a small town that kind of reminds me of Newark, but with a small college within it. When I met the coaches it was awesome, especially the head coach because he was a guard and played at the Division I level. That really inspired me and played a huge role in the decision-making process.”
The UIU head coach Patrick speaks of is Brooks McKowen, who has recorded a five-year record of 88-60 as the Peacocks bench boss, most recently posting a 17-15 overall record in 2017-18 and a 10-12 mark within the NSIC.
McKowen is a quite accomplished basketball player in his own right after graduating from Wapsie Valley High School located in Fairbanks, Iowa, in 2003 where he set state basketball scoring records for points in a season (1,002) and during a career (2,831) that still stand to this day. He is also a 2007 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, an NCAA Division I program that earned three trips to the NCAA Tournament during his time as point guard for the Panthers.
McKowen is thrilled to have Patrick as part of his incoming class of 2018-19.
“My assistant coach saw him play last summer and we had a few things shake down at the end of our season, and after doing more research on him we just loved the type of kid he is,” McKowen said. “I’m a small-town kid myself like he is, and he showed what he could do in high school and we’re extremely excited to get him on campus and make him a part of our basketball program.
“Dylan fits the mold of the type of kid we want in our program. I’m sure he’ll thrive within it, no doubt. Not only can he score in a variety of different ways, but what impressed me about him is the way he passes the basketball. He gets his teammates involved, and his overall toughness on the court shows what type of player he is and translates extremely well to the college level. We’re just thrilled to have him for the next four years.”
Patrick wants to major in Elementary Education at UIU with a minor emphasis on Special Education in addition to his pursuits on the hardwood.
“Obviously I want to play basketball, and I’ll work as hard as I can to earn anything and everything I can on the court over the next four years,” Patrick said. “This is a start of a new life for me, and I’ll hit the books very hard as well being in the gym a lot.
“I couldn’t be more excited and proud to be an Upper Iowa student-athlete.”