Big Man is Big Ten Bound
Worcester Academy’s rising senior center Patrick Ackerman ended his recruitment on Sunday, making a verbal commitment to Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis following an official visit to the school’s campus this weekend.
Ackerman was one of the big winners of the July live period, specifically the second half of the live period, as he played his best basketball while in Orlando with his Middlesex Magic squad at the AAU Super Showcase and Nationals.
Those ten days changed the Rutland native’s recruitment altogether as he suddenly found himself with a steady amount of high-major suitors including the likes of Wake Forest, Ole Miss, Minnesota, Penn State, Michigan, and others.
Ackerman and his family were proactive in the month of August, taking it upon themselves to visit a number of campuses unofficially. One of those first trips was to Penn State, where the school and the coaching staff made such a strong impression that Ackerman opted to return for an official visit on the first weekend possible.
That weekend began two days ago as Ackerman returned to the Nittany Lions’ campus to get to know the players, tour the campus, and see a football game. When his second visit went as well as the first, he decided not to delay the inevitable any longer and made a verbal commitment on Sunday morning.
"I just thought it was a great fit," Ackerman said. "It was a great group of guys. I really enjoyed being around them and the coaches, and the school itself is a place where I can see myself, a place that makes me happy."
“I’m thrilled for him,” said Middlesex Magic head coach Mike Crotty. “I’m thrilled he got what he wanted and he got it in September so he doesn’t have to go through the stress of this process and can enjoy his senior year and concentrate on getting better.”
Although Ackerman’s best basketball is undeniably still in front of him, there simply aren’t very many players around that can match his size and tools.
“He has the size, he loves to play, he’s a great defender, he has great hands and a soft touch,” Crotty said. “With work, if they can put some weight on him, I think he will make himself a player in that league. I believe in him because he has such a desire to be a great player. He’s not playing hoops because he’s six-eleven, he’s playing hoops because he loves it and he’s a gym rat.”
"I definitely need to get stronger and work on that aspect and that's the thing too, another reason I liked Penn State so much was because they have great tools for developing players in terms of their off-season programs," Ackerman said. "I like to play the game. I've been around it since, since I was born really with my dad being a coach. Having done something that long it just makes me want to keep working hard and improving."