SHREVEPORT, La (KMSS/KTAL) – Sometimes we’re right where we’re meant to be and we don’t even know it. That was the case for Evangel Eagles senior guard Lance Waddles, who is in his first full year at the school but in his second stint as an Eagle.

“I was here for half a year last year, so this is like my second year but my first complete full year,” said Waddles. Waddles couldn’t stay away from the school for long thanks in part to a special relationship with Eagles Head Basketball Coach Eric Shepherd.

“It’s really hard to have a player-coach relationship with kids with the age gap and the maturity level but the kid is very mature,” said Coach Shepherd. “It makes it a lot easier for me to just bond with him, talk basketball, not talk basketball, and just do regular things.”

The two have found a common interest off of the court that’s only strengthened their relationship: a shared love of the outdoors.

“We go fishing together, hunting, all of that. He really is a close friend,” said Waddles. “I believe the last fishing trip, I caught the most fish,” said Coach Shepherd. “It’s just fun, we’re out there, not really talking basketball. Just having fun fishing. That’s really a good connection.”

It’s a connection that has carried over to the court and is evident in the team’s performance so far this season. The Eagles are 12-5 so far, with Waddles leading the charge. The senior is averaging 18 points, five rebounds and three assist per game.

“I like playing for him because he lets you play free and he gives you the freedom to just let you play your game and relax,” said Waddles.

For Coach Shepherd, Waddles’ leadership is what him stand out and its that particular trait that drives the rest of the team.

“You have no choice to win with a kid like that,” said Coach Shepherd. “You’re not going to win all of them, but you’re going to win most of them when you have a kid bringing that kind of leadership to the program.”

For Lance Waddles’ outstanding season so far, he’s our player of the week.