The skinny kid couldn't stay in the suburbs any longer. He was from inner city Chicago, after all.
When the teen and his mother showed up at Marshall Metropolitan High School on the city's west side in 2004, they sat down with Lamont Bryant, the head coach of the boys basketball team. Bryant wanted to learn more about his new player, to observe him, so he offered his mother to let him stay for a while.
For the next three hours, he watched the court from his office. Patrick Beverley never took a break. The spindly 16-year-old shot the entire time.
“I knew he was hungry,” said Bryant, who remembered Beverley as relentless and labeled him "the full package. He never got tired.
“We were already good, but with him and what he brought to the table, he took us to another level.”
The hunger remains for the Houston Rockets guard, even as the focus of his game has narrowed to a role as one of the NBA's most infamous defenders.
And it's that infamous tenacious and relentless defense that turned Beverley, who's back in Oklahoma City on Friday night with James Harden and Houston, became Oklahoma City's Most Wanted for his role in a play that altered the Thunder's playoff path in 2013.
Before Beverley was a lockdown NBA defender, he was a two-time All-SEC guard at the University of Arkansas. But he left the Razorbacks in his sophomore year, later admitting to academic fraud and that a student wrote a paper for him.
Isaac Brown, a former assistant who coached Beverley at Arkansas, ran into a Miami scout after the Heat drafted Beverley in the second round in 2009.
Brown had to ask: What did Miami like about an undersized guard who left school to pursue a pro career in the Ukrainian Second Division?
“He said, ‘Coach, he took our workout to another level,'” Brown said. “There may have been guys that are better ballhandlers, better shooters, but they didn't have that competitive nature.”
Beverley spent three years bouncing between Ukraine, Greece, and Russia before signing a multiyear deal with Houston in 2012. He started that season on the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Dan Hipsher headed up Beverley's individual workouts as an Arkansas assistant. “I've been doing this 40 years nearly, and he came with more spirit and work ethic than anybody I can think of being around,” he said.
So Hipsher wasn't surprised when he stopped by to watch the Vipers practice with the Rockets in McAllen, Texas. The Rockets had recently traded for James Harden and made him an $80 million man. Yet, Hipsher saw Beverley grabbing at Harden and making practice miserable for everyone.
By the 2013 playoffs, Beverley was shooting 37.5 percent from 3 and primed to be a starter. Houston opened the postseason against the 60-win, No. 1 seed Oklahoma City Thunder.
Scott Brooks heard Beverley's name, and without being prompted, the former Thunder coach went into “The Play.”
“The Play” — Beverley crashing into Russell Westbrook's right leg as the Thunder guard called a timeout in Game 2 of the 2013 first-round — leveled the Thunder's championship chances and led to three knee surgeries for Westbrook.
“That changed a lot,” said Brooks, who said Beverley's play wasn't dirty, but aggressive.
While numerous Beverley-involved dust-ups have followed, “The Play” is the impact moment of his five NBA seasons. Beverley said "The Play" wasn't intentional, but unfortunate. Still, it bred death threats and claims of Beverley being a dirty player.
“I've heard that with the Westbrook incident. But after that I've never heard that,” Beverley said about people calling him a dirty player.
“I don't give a s*** anyway.”
As soon as Andre Roberson slammed home the alley-oop, Beverley was off his feet.
Chesapeake Energy Arena was rocking. The Thunder ripped off eight points in a row to take a two-point lead. As Roberson turned to the baseline, Harden took a swipe at his arm, frustrated with Roberson's defense on the previous possession. As Roberson walked back to the Thunder bench, Beverley — out after arthroscopic surgery on his left knee — walked toward midcourt.
Beverley's bulging eyes clashed against his casual attire. He was prepared to fight in a cardigan and slacks.
The next game, Beverley returned. The Rockets beat Portland by 17. Houston has won nine of 11 since.
While it'd be considered an “off-night” for Westbrook, his biggest rival comes to OKC fresh off a 10-point, seven-rebound, 12-assist performance against the Lakers.
“He gives us an edge we need on defense and in the locker room,” Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said of Beverley. “Plus he's a 40 percent 3-point shooter. Plus he's a playmaker. Plus he can guard their best guy. Plus he doesn't get tired.
“You can just keep going on and on.”
The teenage Beverley wasn't one-sided. As a freshman, he led Arkansas in scoring, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage. As a high school senior, he led Illinois in scoring at 37.3 points per game — more than a junior named Derrick Rose, who he finished one spot ahead of for third place in the voting for the state's coveted Mr. Basketball crown.
Rose, now with the New York Knicks, said Beverley's mentality hasn't changed.
“Pat (is) still the same player,” said Rose, whose Simeon squad beat Beverley and Marshall in the state semifinals in 2006. “If anything, I'm happy for Pat. Making it to college, going overseas and being able to make it to the league, it shows you his grind, how hard he works.”
Former Arkansas coach John Pelphrey told The Oklahoman: “He's elevated himself to where he's obviously found a niche. He's always been this ferocious competitor. Being the first out there. Leading stretch(ing). When it comes to winning, there's not one thing this dude is not about.”
As Westbrook goes for his seventh consecutive triple-double, he'll do so — according to the narrative — against his arch enemy. But Beverley, forever condemned to a deluge of boos at The Peake, has always been a competitor of a similar mold.
Hungry. Unapologetic for who he is. Unrelenting in what he does.
“I go out and do what I do,” Beverley said Thursday before boarding a plane bound for Oklahoma City. “The difference between me and a lot of players is I'm comfortable with my role. I found my niche in the league and stayed with it. I knew I could feed my family, build my brand on the defensive end.”
“I'm still gonna play aggressive, still get in people's s*** and have fun doing it.”