Schools of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State over other offers from Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, South Carolina Louisville, Southern Miss and Utah
Ok, so maybe he won't win the Dancing With The Stars award for best dancer but Mississippi State head women's basketball coach Vic Shaefer might win an award for being the happiest dancer after he found out that Ki-Ki Patterson had committed to him and did his own version of dancing in the street.
"When I told him that I was committing he said, 'are you serious?', I said yes and he said, 'the number 1 point guard in the country committed to me,' then, he did a little dance," said Ki-Ki, who chose MSU over other offers from South Carolina, Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Louisville. "My assistant coach even recorded it and sent it to me yesterday. He did this little dance in the street in front of everybody."
Hearing what he said and seeing his celebration dance made quite an impression on Ki-Ki.
"That made me feel really good because it showed that he really, really wanted me to come to Mississippi State. And after seeing his reaction (on video) I knew that he really, really wanted me to come there," she said. "It really makes you feel good to know somebody wants you that much."
While it was obvious that Ki-Ki was a high priority for Coach Shaefer and his staff, it took a huge effort on their part in a short period of time because when they first got to Mississippi State, Ki-Ki barely had Mississippi State in her recruiting picture. But Shaefer and his staff made a great impression very quickly.
"They were very family-oriented and that was big with me because I come from a close knit family," said Ki-Ki. "And I wanted to go into a situation that was close knit. And, two, they cared for me. Both (MSU assistant) Coach (Johnnie) Harris and Coach Schaefer come from Christian backgrounds and really care about me, not just the basketball part but what I want to do with the rest of my life. They are concerned about what I am going to do after I get out of college. That really stuck out to me about both coaches."
And as you would expect, Ki-Ki's mother, Shuvarn, also liked the fact that the Mississippi State coaches cared about the person and not just the basketball player.
"They seem to really care about her as an all around person, not just as an athlete but as a person," said Shuvarn. "There is more to Ki-Ki than basketball. At some point I'm not going to be there every day and there will be times when she needs that mother side. And Mississippi State seemed to make me feel more comfortable in that area."
Shuvarn didn't just take their word. She researched all the coaches that recruited her daughter. She wanted to know, without a doubt, that the people she handed her daughter over to for the next four years would take care of her just as she would.
"I did question the recruiters pretty hard, not just the coaching staff at Mississippi State but all the other coaching staffs," said Shuvarn. "I did that because I wanted to see, I guess you could say who could fill my shoes as a mother and continue with the job of raising her, not just athletically but academically as well.
"I also read all the bios of all the coaches that recruited Ki-Ki. And as soon as I found out about Coach Shaefer and his staff I found their bios and read about them as people. Sometimes words don't tell the story but if you talk to a person long enough some of the real person will come out in the conversation. And everything I heard from Coach Shaefer and his staff made me feel very comfortable in handing my child over to them.
"I really believe that Coach Shaefer, along with his coaching staff, will be able to point her in that particular way."
As for the basketball part, Ki-Ki believes Shaefer and staff will point her in the right direction as well.
"I believe that Coach Schaefer is an outstanding coach," she said. "He knows what he is doing and has been doing it for a long time. And he has proof that he knows what he is doing. I feel like when I go to Mississippi State we can win championships there. It might not happen right away but somewhere down the line it is going to get done."
Ki-Ki begins her Mississippi State basketball career in a little less than a year.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.