The Richardson Family Trio

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When attending a game in Albany, there is one name above others that is considered royalty among the locals: Richardson.

Three Richardsons currently grace the halls of Alexander High School — Seth, Leah and Rachel, in order of age — and each of them also has one other thing in common. They love to play basketball.

There wasn’t always a time that the family was focused on basketball though.

“I would have never dreamed that we would get involved in sports, because I was more focused on character development,” Becky Richardson, their mother, said. “The church we were going to had an Upward basketball program and they were just little and said they wanted to play and they loved it. So here we are.”

Church and basketball have been the driving forces in the Richardsons’ life for quite some time. Using both as motivation, each Richardson has carved out a special place on the court.

Seth Richardson, who is a senior, was voted to the Hardwood Heroes Boys’ All-Hero for being one of the Spartans core players and having one of the nicest shots in the TVC. He is also a defensive nuisance, using his length and athleticism to force turnovers and bad shots from his opponents.

Leah and Rachel Richardson, who were voted to the Girls’ All-Hero and All-Future team, respectively, live on the offensive end of the court. Both possess a shot that Seth Richardson surely insists he taught them. Leah Richardson’s loves pull-up jumpers, and her ability to score at will is what led her to break the 1,000 point mark in her junior season season while also holding the all-time scoring record for Alexander.

There are whispers around Albany that Rachel Richardson has the ability to be better than her sister — don’t let Leah that — and so far, she’s doing everything she can in her freshman season to overshadow her sister. You only need to look at Rachel Richardson’s game against Wellston in early February, in which she broke the school record for most 3-pointers in a game with nine, to gain faith in the youngest Richardson. Her youth doesn’t belie the fact that she is an incredibly interesting prospect that coach Cory McKnight is excited to have.

When it comes to how all three feel about their time on the court, the word competitive is a bit of an understatement.

Asking each one who the better player is drudges up arguments about each other’s game, deficiencies that could surely be exploited and a downplaying of one another’s accomplishments.

“It gets pretty competitive,” Seth Richardson said. “The arguments whether it’s basketball or non-basketball related stuff. (We’re) always trying to one-up the other.”

Rachel Richardson is the easy target for her older siblings, but she has plenty of ammunition against her siblings. Leah Richardson may be receiving many of the accolades now, but Rachel Richardson feels that she can still hold her own in one-on-one.

Good-natured arguing ensues in their house as the three argue about who could beat who, which represents the competitive nature that runs through each of their blood. The sisters poke fun at their brother “struggling” to reach 1,000 points until his senior year, but a sense of admiration is palpable under the surface of the argument.

Each Richardson respects what their sibling is able to bring to the court. With that respect comes pressure on the shoulders of the youngest Richardson to continue the tradition that her older siblings have bestowed upon her.

“There’s a little bit of pressure just because (Leah) is breaking all these records and I want to break records too and it just makes it harder for me,” Rachel Richardson said. “But I’m happy for her and glad that she’s breaking records.”

And that is evident on the court when the two play together. The sibling rivalry takes a backseat for those 32 minutes, as the two feed each other for open looks and celebrate when the other makes a good play.

Leah Richardson also acknowledges that her being a role model for her younger sister is important for her development. But with postseason play on the line and a chance to stake their family name in the history of the school, each Richardson is doing their best to make their mark.

For each Richardson, basketball is important, but their love for each other and love for the game is paramount to anything else.

“I always encouraged them to do what they love, love what they do and whatever they do, do it with all they’ve got and do it for the glory of God,” Becky Richardson said. “That’s what they’ve done and I think that’s why they’ve been successful.”
With Seth Richardson graduating after this year, Alexander will only have two Richardsons to cheer on next year, but the siblings will live on in school memory long after each of them has left Albany.