Chad Waddell, Jonathan Hampton and their Greenbrier teammates like to joke around.
Wolfpack basketball coach Casey Heckathorn doesn't mind, as long as it doesn't affect their play during games. And to this point, it hasn't.
Waddell and Hampton have been all business on the court, helping Greenbrier to victories in its first three county rivalry games.
Waddell, a junior guard, is the Wolfpack's leading scorer and top shooter. He credits his mother, Debbie Waddell, a former Division III player, with teaching him to shoot.
"My mom, in the games if I'm not doing good, I always look up to her and see what she has to say about my form," Waddell said. "If I'm falling back, not using my legs, not following through or anything."
Heckathorn has seen the respect Waddell has for his mother, how he is at the gym well before home games to help her open the concession stand and does whatever she asks.
"He doesn't roll his eyes at his mom. He doesn't talk back to his mom," Heckathorn said. "He respects her. She's given him a lot in his life."
Waddell said his focus when releasing his shot is on the front of the rim, imagining the ball going through. When he misses, it's Hampton's job to fight under the basket.
The senior said he thrives on "picking up the trash." And most of his points come from put-backs on the offensive end.
Hampton has a similar role on the defensive end, stepping up to play help defense and keeping the opponent's big man away from the offensive glass. During one game in a Thanksgiving tournament, Hampton drew four charging fouls. He had taken 10 charges through Greenbrier's first five games.
"I just try to position myself so they hit me square in the chest and my feet are set," Hampton said. "I just fall over."
Hampton earned the nickname "The Godfather" during the summer for the way he took ownership of the team. Whenever Heckathorn needed a message delivered, he could text Hampton and the rest of the team would know within five minutes.
"He's relentless about it," Heckathorn said. "Kids are picking up their phone an hour later and say, 'Man, I got three texts from Hamp. I wonder what's going on.' J-Hamp's the guy."
The Wolfpack won their first three games over county rivals before falling to Evans by a point Saturday.
Heckathorn's team also pulled out a 61-59 victory over Redan to open its Region 2-AAAAA schedule.
"It's obviously a good boost for us just to get that confidence," Waddell said. "It's good confidence going into region."
Heckathorn said he expects the Wolfpack will be competitive in every game they play. And as long as they continue to play together, he's going to allow the joking to continue between Waddell, Hampton and their teammates.
"I think the whole group is very light," Heckathorn said. "I've let them have that personality, and I think the team needs to have that personality.
"They have a good time together. They all do."
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