WAVERLY — If you’ve ever had a conversation with Cody Remington, chances are he was smiling … especially if it was after a win.
And if you’ve seen him play, you know Waverly’s senior guard sports that same smile through all 32 minutes. Once just a soccer player, it’s easy to see that Remington has fallen in love with the game of basketball.
“Starting out, I was really a soccer player,” Remington said. “That’s just how I liked it. As I moved to a different school — I went to Western for two years — I really started to get interested in basketball. I liked basketball before that but I really started to get introduced to it more, started playing it and getting after it. I fell in love with it shortly after.”
The rest, as they say, is history. But the impact that Remington continues to have for the Tigers is an ongoing one. That’s partly due to his work ethic and his desire to get better than he already is … even when nobody’s watching.
After Waverly lost to Unioto in a Division II district final last season, Remington woke up the very next day hungry to avenge the loss. So instead of taking time off, he got right back in the gym.
“After that loss, I wanted to get back in the gym as soon as possible,” Remington said. “I wanted to get better because other teams had players leave and we really only lost two players. So we had everybody back. Getting back to where we were last year is important. That’s the goal.”
Remington’s attempts to improve have paid dividends. Last season, his potential on offense was limited without an effective jump shot. While his athleticism alone allowed him to hold his own, without a strong jumper, teams gameplanned to corral him at the top of the key.
All that’s changed this year. Remington has developed into a threat to score from anywhere.
“One thing I’ve really improved on is my shooting,” he said. “I could always drive to the basket but on nights where that was taken away from me, I couldn’t really do anything on offense. So, me being able to get in the gym everyday this summer and focus on my shooting, it really changed the type of player that I was.”
Remington’s ability to score couples with his ability to play defense, which has always been one of his strongpoints. The fact that he’s gotten even better at on-ball pressure should strike fear in the heart of every opponent.
If you want to beat Waverly, you’re going to have to figure out a way to score while Remington hounds your best ball handler all night long.
“I take pride on that side of the ball. I want to win Defensive Player of the Year,” Remington said. “Last year, I was nominated for that award and I lost. I was pretty upset. So this year, I came in different and still have that goal.”
Remington’s in-your-face style of defense has proven itself to be a commodity. But, depending on how the game is being called, it can also be a negative at times.
Take last year’s loss to Unioto for example. Remington was whistled for three early fouls and forced to sit out for much of the first half. If that wouldn’t have happened, who knows what a five-point loss could’ve been.
So to combat situations like that one, Remington has been more careful. He can’t afford to sit.
“I realized that if I keep getting in foul trouble, it’s not hurting just myself but it’s hurting my team,” he said. “My ball pressure, to me, is one of the best around. So me being able to stay in the game and help my teammates in that way … it’s huge.”
Remington says he’s had multiple schools reach out to him about playing basketball at the next level. But for now, he’s focus on the spring.
“Kentucky Christian has asked me about basketball but I’ve been wanting to focus on track as well because I’ve been having success there, too,” Remington said. “I think that’s what I’ll do.”
No matter where he ends up in college, Remington knows his days are numbered as a high school player. That’s something he’s not ready for but also something that’s inevitable.
“It’s bittersweet. I don’t want to let go but I’m going to have to,” Remington said.
Waverly currently stands at 13-7 overall with the hopes of doing exactly what Remington talked about: getting back to and winning a district final. While the Tigers try and check off their goals, Remington will also have a checklist to attend to.
“I’m kind of OCD,” Remington said, laughing. “What I do before every game is, I always pack my things in order. I put my shooting shirt in first, then my jersey in, then my shorts and then my girdle. That way, I can take them out and put them on in order. It’s that exact order or I’m going to feel like I missed something. I’ts a ‘look good, feel good, play good type of thing.’ It’s always seemed to work for me, so why stop now?”