In Feb. 25 Issue
The past several years the Russell County Lakers have had a solid inside presence thanks to current senior Zach Carney.
The 6-4 Carney, the team's leading rebounder, has shown rapid improvements throughout his career and entered the starting lineup his junior season and had a breakout year.
Carney said he didn't play much as an 8th grader but then started on the junior varsity squad as a freshmen and played some varsity minutes as a sophomore.
“I kept on working in the off-season and then started my junior and senior seasons,” he said.
This season, Carney picked up where he left off last year and needs to be on the floor for Russell County to win in district and regional tournament play.
His length and ability to shoot the mid-range jumper allows the Laker's guard's the opportunity to produce form the perimeter.
“The years have gone by fast but they've been a lot of fun,” Carney said of his time as a Laker.
“We've won a lot and played in a lot of close, good games.”
His favorite memories include his first in-game slam dunk, which occurred earlier this year in a victory over Warren East, and the upset of favored Warren Central in the opening round of regional play last season.
Carney said much of his development can be credited to coach Willie Feldhaus and his staff for working with him on his game.
“He's been a great coach,” Carney said of Feldhaus.
Carney also has had a visible family presence in the crowds throughout his career from his parents Phil and Laura Carney.
“Dad hasn't missed a game ever, basketball or baseball, and mom has been to all of them but one since I've been in high school,” he said.
When the basketball season finally ends, hopefully with a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in Lexington, Carney said he would miss the atmosphere of high school hoops.
“I enjoy playing in front of everybody at home and I'll miss my teammates because we've played with one another since we were real little,” Carney said.
“We've been tight ever since youth league.”
Carney said he will leave the program with this message.
“Work hard every day and try to get better at everything you do,” he said. “Don't take anything for granted.”