If it isn't the sea of orange and black that captures the attention of Chinook boys basketball fans, odds are it's big number 42. Senior center Wade Schneider is the 6 foot 6 giant in the middle for the Sugarbeeters.
"Not only does he bring his height and defensive prowess in the middle but again sitting out last year he was able to watch the game a little bit more and kind of became a leader," said coach Mike Seymour.
Wade couldn't hoop last year after tearing his ACL and MCL playing football in the fall. The injury forced him to hang up his cleats, but it has given him more motivation to focus on basketball and track and be Chinook's vocal leader.
"He's energetic, he's fun to play with, and he pushes everyone else harder," senior guard Kyle McMaster said.
"He's always out there telling us what to do and giving us information," added sophomore forward Cord Schneider.
Wade's not only informed when it comes to basketball. He excels in the classroom,too, with a 3.9 GPA. He's also president of the FFA and part of student council. And he wants his teammates to do just as well.
"He always asks if you're keeping up with your grades. How your day is going, and he picks you up if you're having a bad day," added McMaster.
It's Wade's infectious positivity and level of caring that has his teammates more than willing to play alongside him.
"Wade's a good teammate. He's a team player. He's always helpful," Schneider said.
"His personality really grows on people. If he's happy I guess everyone's happy," McMaster said.
"Wade took it upon himself to have a team get-together before the season ever started. Quite a few of the teammates went up there so I think that just shows the leadership that Wade brings," Seymour said.
The Sugarbeeters will definitely need Wade to play big, both literally and figuratively this season if they want to improve on last year's fourth place finish in the district tournament. He says he's up for the challenge, but of course, he wants his teammates there with him.
"Just try to be a team player. Share the ball around and give everyone their chance," Wade said.