Patrick Beverley, guard for the Los Angeles Clippers has grown up to become one of the toughest, most resilient defenders in the NBA. Beverley’s journey to the league isn’t what you would expect but it has shaped him into the iconic player he is now. From the concrete court nestled in a park in Chicago to the glossy hardwood surrounded by fans, Beverley hasn’t stopped working day in and out to be the best in the game.
His ability to apply pressure to opposing players has shaped his game and his 6’7 wingspan allows him to have exceptional lateral movement. The prior underdog withstood a basketball journey from the European leagues to the NBA and is now a leader on the Clippers.
Here is what you need to know about Beverley:
1. Beverley Was Raised in Chicago and Overcame Challenges Growing Up
Patrick’s mother, Lisa Beverley gave birth to him at the age of 18 in Chicago. From a young age, Lisa had him involved in every activity from baseball to karate and basketball in efforts to keep him out of the troubled streets of his neighborhood, as Josh Martin of CloseUp360 revealed. For Patrick, basketball came natural. He and his mother would spend countless hours in cold weather conditions practicing on the court in his nearby park. Beverley’s father was absent most of his childhood as he struggled with drug abuse. Lisa’s live-in boyfriend, Dexter, who was the main male figure in Patrick’s life was later shot multiple times and died as a result. As a young boy, Beverley spent a great amount of time sleeping anywhere but home from motels to the backseat of his mother’s car.
According to Martin and CloseUp360, Beverley stated that he’s “been through it all, I have been in the gutter. Me and my mom lived in motels, I’ve been in hospitals, my grandma had cancer I seen it all and been through it all, so I lived it”
He eventually attended Waubonise Valley High School in the suburbs of Chicago as a freshman before transferring to John Marshall, where he led the state in scoring and became a staple player on the court.
As Mirin Fader of Bleacher Report reveals, “He remembers his old life: having to share a sweatshirt with a high school teammate, not always able to afford his own. He remembers the family, the friends, that gunshots stole from him. The scouts telling him he was too small, too skinny.”
Despite this Patrick overcame the underdog stigma and made the best of his circumstances as a child in the heart of West Chicago.
2. Beverley Prepared for His NBA Dream Overseas in Ukraine, Greece & Russia
Following high school, Patrick Beverley signed at the University of Arkansas. He excelled on the court in his first two seasons but following his sophomore year, he was declared ineligible for academic issues. Beverley later told Sporting News that he was ineligible due to an “issue with a class paper,” per Bleacher Report, which resulted in his dismissal from the Razorbacks.
At this point it was time for a change, Beverley acquired an agent and prepared to fly overseas to Europe. The first stop for him was to meet with Bob Donewald, former NBA assistant coach and now head coach of team BC Dnipro located in Ukraine, which SB Nation’s The Dream Shake revealed. He started playing for Donewald, and under his direction, Beverley had sharpened his guard skills and had a coach who could vouch for his development with NBA scouts. Beverley later competed in the Ukrainian All-Star game and also won the Slam Dunk Competition.
Beverley spoke about his time overseas in a breakdown from SB Nation.
“I had a guy on my team who was 38. That’s the same age as my mom…I think me being around that setting forced me to become a better man and better player on and off the court. I now understand the life of a pro.”
In 2009, Beverley signed Olympiacos Piraeus one of the prominent teams in Greece. He helped Olympiacos win the 2010 Greek Cup title and reach the finals of both the EuroLeague and the Greek League, while also appearing in 22 games. Finally, Beverley got a shot at the NBA when he joined the Miami Heat for the 2010 Summer League. Following this, he officially signed with the Heat for the following season and played in six preseason games before being waived prior to the start of the regular season.
Once again, Beverley was at another roadblock and returned overseas where he signed with Spartak St. Petersburg for the rest of the 2010–2011 season. The 6-foot-1 guard signed an extension with the team which would keep him there through 2014 and included an option for the 2014–2015 season. Rather than staying in Russia he turned down his promised salary and left to risk it all in an attempt to secure a spot in the NBA. Subsequently, on December 23, 2012, he reached a multi-year agreement with the Houston Rockets.
As Mirin Fader of Bleacher Report reported, Beverley previously explained that he was “willing to bet” on himself.
“I paid a million to get here. Out of my own money. I put myself in debt to get to the NBA… I was willing to bet myself,” said Beverley, who was referring to his salary from Russia which he walked away from.
3. His Nickname Is “Mr. 94 Feet”
A basketball court is a total of 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. Beverley acquired his nickname of “Mr. 94 feet” because he produces pressure and defense on every inch of the floor. Beverley fully encompasses and lives up to his nickname, as he even has it in his Twitter bio. Beverley is widely known for having battles with players such as Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and more.
Zack Harper of CBS Sports previously detailed the reputation which Beverley has earned during his NBA career.
“Patrick Beverley has developed quite the reputation in just a short amount of time. One memorable moment was when he didn’t back down on Russell Westbrook as the Thunder guard was trying to call a timeout on a play that resulted in a lateral tear of Westbrook’s meniscus.”
This specific play has gone down in history and directly relates to him obtaining his “Mr. 94 Feet” nickname.
4. Beverley Uses a Tennis Ball in His Pregame Routine
This may sound absurd for Beverley given he’s a basketball player, but he uses both a tennis ball and a basketball during his pregame warm-up and makes it look easy. As previously explained by Huffington Post’s Arman Walia, who stated that Beverley would dribble “through his legs while passing a tennis ball back to a Rockets staff member, multiple times.”
This first took place before a regular-season game when he was playing for the Rockets, as the team showed.
It seems as though Beverley is always up for the challenge and his ball-handling skills are put to the test with this routine. The wild warm-up helps develop hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and precision when handling the ball and also allows him to be a defensive guru on the court.
5. Secured a $40-Million-Dollar Contract After 7 Years in the NBA
As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported, “the Clippers reached an agreement to re-sign Patrick Beverley to a 3-year deal worth $40 million.”
This was the payday that Beverley had been working towards for years and the day where all of his hard work finally paid off, literally. This deal positioned Beverley to make more in the next three years than he had throughout his entire NBA career. To break it down, he will now earn an average of $13 million per year. In his previous contract, he was making a base salary of $5 million on a deal that was over four years and worth $23 million. Beverley has never received more than $6.4 million in a single season of his contract, and he finally secured a future for himself and his family thanks to impressive play.
This deal was well deserved, and Doc Rivers said Beverley “has the biggest heart I have ever seen in a player.”
Many within the Clippers organization have referred to him as the heart of the entire team – not only a leader on the defensive end of the floor. The 31-year-old was drafted No. 42 by the Lakers initially.
As Farbod Esnaashari of Forbes.com revealed, Beverley addressed being drafted by the Lakers and also how his release from the Heat created a chip on his shoulder.
“I got drafted by the Lakers, they traded me to Miami. Bron got there, they cut me. I remember it like it was yesterday, so it’s a chip on my shoulder.” Beverley stated.
This chip on his shoulder positioned Beverley to secure an unforgettable deal. In the wise words of Patrick Beverley: “Everything happens for a reason.”