(Ben Wielgopolski/WOUB)

Federal Hocking Senior Brad Russell heading to Muskingum for basketball

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ATHENS, OH — Three simple, yet powerful words.

“I would say probably the biggest thing is to never give up,” Federal Hocking senior Brad Russell said.
Senior Brad Russell had every reason to want to give up. His freshmen year at Federal Hocking, the Lancers didn’t win a single game. The following year, just two. His junior year, a little bit better with six. His senior season, a different story.
“We just never stopped working. We worked our butts off every day and it ended up being worth it in the end,” Russell said.
Russell and his teammates refused to give up. Four years of hard work paid off in the form of 19 wins, a school-record.
“It was as just an unreal year for sure,” Russell said.
In many ways, it was a year that didn’t feel reel to a program that hadn’t had success winning in recent years. But the Lancers got back to the top — winning the TVC-Hocking and a sectional championship.
“Ever since I was a little kid I had the goal of playing in the Convo and be able to cut down nets, whether it’s winning the conference championship, winning sectionals which we did both did so it was cool to do it twice,” Russell said.
Russell’s first dream achieved. His next: Playing college basketball. Russell committed to Muskingum University, just a short road trip from home.
“I think me playing basketball shows that anyone can,” Russell said. “It’s always possible if you work hard every day, whatever your dreams are, you can accomplish them.”
A dream that Russell isn’t taking for granted.
“Not many people at our school to get to play at the next level so it’s a pretty cool feat to accomplish, but the work doesn’t stop yet,” Russell said.
The work is being put on pause for now due to COVID-19. Russell, like many athletes is using the limited resources he has to stay in playing shape.
“I hate not being able to go to the gym and play pick-up ball with my buddies, but I’m just taking advantage with what I’ve got because right now it’s not a whole lot,” Russell said.
But Russell isn’t giving up. He doesn’t know a way of life any other way.
“I’m just ready to get started. I’m ready to next step,” Russell said.