Nate Richie was ahead of every boys basketball coach in Indiana on Nov. 11. The skipper of the Lowell Red Devils already had what every other coach in the state was looking for.
A player who didn't care if he scored and did not care how many scrapes and bruises he got every time the lights went on in the gym.
That is Red Devils senior Aaron Hamm.
"Aaron is the kind of player every coach wants," Richie said. "He just goes out there and makes plays. Big plays."
Lowell won the Caston Holiday Tournament on Saturday night, which Richie said is the Devils' first in-season tourney championship in more than 20 years. Lowell beat Churubusco (66-44), Northfield (56-36) and Caston (58-20) to cut down the nets.
Richie calls Hamm a walking stat sheet. He averages 7.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 3 assists a game.
Last year Lowell went 1-2 at Caston. They returned and in the second practice back Hamm broke his foot for the second time, the first one coming on the football field. He was done for the season.
"Zach VanHook was leading us in scoring and Aaron was leading us in every other stat category," Richie said. "When he broke his foot it dramatically changed the dynamic of our team."
Lowell finished 9-13 last year. The Devils are 8-1 now heading into Saturday's home game against Highland.
"After I broke it in football I was told it was very common for it to break again," Hamm said. "I was just running when it happened. I was done for the season. I had surgery and had a screw put in there."
Hamm was very successful for Lowell's football team this fall. He will likely punt the football in college. He has a visit set up at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri, along with several other schools.
The football player, though, is having a blast playing a little hoops before graduation. And he loves his role out of the spotlight.
"I've never been a selfish guy," Hamm said. "I can score a little bit but I don't care about it. We already have a scorer (VanHook). If I can get steals, great. If I can get rebounds, great. That's my job."
Hamm's career-high in scoring is 14.
"Honestly, most of the guys on our team played together since our sophomore year," said Hamm of the eight seniors on the varsity roster. "We worked hard in the summer. We thought this could be a good season. Getting our first championship in 20-plus years is nice, but we all know we have a lot of work to still do."