MOSHEIM, Tenn. (WJHL) – Buffaloes senior Austin Wampler has been playing basketball for most of his young life.
“It really sparked in kindergarten,” he said.
But, Austin isn’t the only bucket-getter in the Wampler family.
“Mom was a really good basketball player and she taught me,” he said. “I kind of got all my talent from her. Dad didn’t play nothing, so it all came from mom.”
She helped shape Austin into the passionate, hard-working player he’s become throughout his Buffs career.
“She taught me everything I know, honestly and truthfully,” he said. “Everything.”
But, he’s found something that will last even longer than the wins and individual performances he’s accumulated on the court.
“The friends and family that I made – just the relationships,” he said. “I mean, coaches and players both.”
Wampler has found a similar connection in the dugout as part of the baseball squad.
“It feels so at home – when I’m out there I don’t think about nothing,” he said. “I’m just doing what I love to do.”
Whether on the mound or in center field, Wampler has grown his game. But, perhaps even more importantly, he’s grown as a leader – setting an example for future players.
“Coach always says play hard and be a great teammate,” he said. “Just give it all and be good to others – celebrate their success.”
Wampler even picked up football and added it to his busy senior schedule this past fall.
“It was middle school when I started playing,” he said. “Then I stopped. This year is the first year I’ve played since then.”
It’s all thanks to a friendly wager made in gym class with his teacher, and head football coach, Scotty Veran.
“He made a bet that if I shot a [basketball] shot and made it, that I had to come out,” he recalled. “Well, I hit it, so I went out and I absolutely loved it.”
He loved helping the team to an 8-3 record and the first home playoff game since 2017.
Wampler even finds time to volunteer as a member of the National Honor Society, with wisdom beyond his years.
“That’s all life is about is just helping your community,” he said.
Wampler is headed to Walters State, where he eventually intends to transfer into the nursing program at ETSU.