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Patterson will return to play at Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Citing the chance to play for a national championship-caliber team next season and graduate next spring, big man Patrick Patterson has decided to withdraw his name from the 2009 NBA Draft.

The University of Kentucky made Patterson’s intentions known Friday afternoon, leaving teammate Jodie Meeks as the only Wildcats player in the NBA Draft.

Meeks’ father acknowledged his surprise that Patterson withdrew from the draft.

“If it’s the right thing for him and his family, I’m happy for him,” Orestes Meeks said. “My deal is more surprise than anything else. He couldn’t have done any workouts (for NBA teams) because the workouts haven’t started yet.”

His son won’t begin workouts for NBA teams for more than a week, the elder Meeks said. Meeks’ decision to stay in the draft or return to Kentucky would come after the workouts.

Meeks, who led UK and the Southeastern Conference in scoring last season, is one of about 50 players to be invited to the NBA’s Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago later this month.