The grind doesn’t stop for the Humboldt Vikings basketball program

HUMBOLDT, Tenn. — The high school basketball season is about four months away from tip off, but for the Humboldt Vikings, the grind never stopped.

One thing pushing them is the 42-point spanking courtesy of Douglass out of Memphis in last year’s playoffs.

“Yeah, it’s definitely motivation. We right back in there working,” said senior guard, RJ Abernathy.

Abernathy will play a pivotal role for the Vikings this season as their leader. But he said he’s not the only leader on the team — they have a bunch.

Driving Abernathy this off-season is the way the season ended last season. He said he has a chip on his shoulder. He wants his team to be better for his last go-round.

“I mean it hurts your heart, it does,” Abernathy said. “But I mean we start right back at it next season trying to reach that same goal.”

Recently Abernathy attended the High Potential “Blue-Chip” Basketball Camp where kids from all over show out in front of scouts.

Carrying the weight of the Douglass loss, he had something to prove, and he did just that — winning the camp’s MVP award.

Led by his father, Ron Abernathy, RJ and his teammate Montrez Ward said coach Abernathy is a no-nonsense type of guy. You do things one way — the Vikings way.

“I mean, it’s a love-hate relationship when it comes to basketball,” Abernathy said. “Of course he’s always pushing me hard to be the best player I can be.”

“I love coach Ab, I love the way he coach, and he’s gonna tell you the truth. He won’t lie to you,” Ward said.

The straight-forward approach has helped the Vikings win 53 games in two seasons. If they want to continue that trend of winning, the gym needs to remain their best friend.

“We working hard now. How we working, I don’t think no other schools working like that,” Ward said.

As for those doubters, Abernathy had this to say.

“We ain’t got nothing to do with all the talking, we just here to play basketball,” Abernathy said.