RANDLEMAN — It was his freshman year when Randleman High School’s Greg Price first made a positive impression on varsity coach Daniel Mitchell and the coaching staff.
Mitchell certainly knew of Price, who played for the Randleman Middle School team. But it was during tryouts of Price’s freshman year — after the football season was pushed back to the spring because of COVID — when Price stepped onto the basketball floor for the first time at RHS.
“It was one of those scrimmages at tryouts and he comes down and starts hitting shots. Hitting a runner, hitting a three,” Mitchell remembered. “I looked at Coach (Jake) Routh and said this kid is going to be pretty good. And he’s a point guard.”
After a year on jayvee, Price earned the starting point guard position for the varsity and the Tigers and Price have shown a steady progression in the win-loss column ever since.
Price’s 5-foot-9, 210-pound body gradually turned into 6-2 and 215 pounds, mostly because of the vigorous workouts in the weight room for both football and basketball.
His scoring increased from 6.2 points per game as a sophomore, to 13.5 as a junior. The team’s wins took a huge jump as RHS was 8-15 overall and 5-7 in the Piedmont Athletic Conference during Price’s sophomore season, 15-12 and 6-6 during his junior season.
After Friday night’s 59-48 Piedmont Athletic Conference win over Providence Grove, RHS now stands 12-4 and an unblemished 5-0 in league play. Price is averaging right at 13 points, four rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
“He developed into what he is today,” Mitchell said. “He has always been a very competitive guy. He and Christian Long couldn’t be on the same team in practice. They had to be on different teams. He is fiery and competitive.
“Now he’s taken the leadership role along with that. He’s always had the fire, now he’s bringing people along with him.”
Price has developed into a muscled guard who can hit from 3-point range as well as drive to the inside against smaller opponents. He uses his body very well in keeping defenders off him.
“He had to find that confidence to be a leader, a shot taker and defender and he gained that confidence in football, where he’s a very good player,” Mitchell said.
On the football field, the Tigers were 28-14 in Price’s four years, with seven of those losses coming in one season. His senior year, he helped the Tigers to a 10-2 final record.
“Definitely the weight room, getting in the weigh troom and lifting,” Price said of his body transformation. “Coach Dobias helped me with nutrition and stuff and that helped me get bigger and more physical. My shot is getting better and I’m a bigger body. It was with a lot of hard work.”
His size and strength is really unusual for a high school point guard.
“He is bigger, faster and stronger and all that has made him a more effective player,” Mitchell said.
“He is a point guard for us, but he could probably be a post player. He scores in many ways. He can shoot, drive it and he can get out front and run with it.”
That versatility has helped Randleman to its fast start. But Price said the success the team is enjoying is due to the play of a lot of players.
“We have a bunch of shooters this year,” Price said of Tyshaun Goldston, Connor Cassidy, Jireh Price, John Kirkpatrick, Pacey Wagner, Cam Powell and Chase Farlow. “Last year we were mainly drivers. People have to respect our shot now and if our shots aren’t falling, we can go to the rim.”
The Tigers have this week off for exams, but when they return to action on Jan. 23, a key game awaits. RHS will travel to Trinity, which is also unbeaten in league play at 4-0 with an 11-4 overall record.
“We just have to keep every game the same,” Price said. “Keep practicing hard and doing what Coach says.”
That recipe has worked quite well for the Tigers so far.