WEST LINN, Ore. (KOIN) – Payton Pritchard prefers to let his work on the basketball court do all of the talking.
“People have always doubted me all through my life, and always said [that other] people are better [than me],” said Pritchard.” But, you know, it kind of just puts it in the back of my head, and it motivates me.”
ESPN has Pritchard listed as its 42nd best basketball player in the nation. Our Athlete of The Week is also ranked No. 1 overall in Oregon.
“It’s a great honor just to be the top athlete in Oregon,” said Pritchard. “There’s a lot of tremendous athletes, and just to be the athlete of the week on this signing [day] week is a great achievement.”
Off the court, Pritchard maintains a 3.6 GPA.
“[I’m a] student-athlete so student comes first,” said Pritchard. “You know, you need to have good grades to get into college so that’s definitely a priority.”
“He considered Oklahoma as being one of his options just because it’s where my family came from,” Lexie Pritchard, a sophomore guard on West Linn’s varsity basketball team, said about her brother.
“When he committed [to the Oklahoma Sooners] he came home after [his visit], and I think it was a couple of months later to where he realized that more of his family is down in Oregon.”
And that’s one of the reasons why he decided to sign with University of Oregon.
“You know, I grew up here,” said Pritchard. “I’m an Oregon boy; born and raised. You know, I love coach [Dana] Altman, and the coaching staff. And I just feel like I could be really successful there.”
“We’re talking about a kid that deserves all of the success because of the work, the perseverance, the determination [and] the competitiveness,” said Eric Viuhkola, who’s the West Linn varsity head basketball coach.
“Really it’s about him as a person that makes him a great player, because of all the work and he deserves it.”
“One thing about Payton is just his work ethic,” said Braden Olsen, who’s a junior on West Linn’s varsity basketball team. “That’s the best thing about him so it’s like he’s always going to get better. That’s one thing I’ve learned about him.”
As Pritchard dreams of playing in the NBA one day, he’s focusing on trying to lead West Linn to another state title this year.
“There would be nothing more [exciting] than to hang four banners [inside of our gym], and have four rings,” said Pritchard.
“That’s something that holds for a lifetime.”