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Mattress Firm Student Athlete of the Week: Manhattan Christian's Joey Lodine

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MANHATTAN -

It's always tough to switch high schools. It's even tougher to switch right before your senior year. But that's exactly what Manhattan Christian senior Joey Lodine experienced this last summer. Lodine said the move was made a lot easier though because of a welcoming Eagles team.

"You know, you come in and you're super nervous," said Lodine. "New people, new place, but like I said, I really love these guys and I feel like I fit in well."

Basketball has always been a big part of Lodine's life, his dad played all the way through college, but recently Lodine, who averages nearly a double-double per game, got the opportunity to give back to the sport he loves, spending some time coaching young players with the 406 Academy.

"Super fun to spend time with the little ones, running around and learning the game of basketball," Lodine said. "It's cool to kind of flash back to when you were that age and starting to develop a love for it. It's cool to just guide in that and be a part of that."

"Joey displays a lot of great things that leaders do, so it was good that he got that opportunity to go work with kids," said Eagles Head Coach Jeff Bellach. "I think it's something that him and some of these other guys would be able to do when they move on."

His time spent with youngsters isn't limited to the hardwood. Lodine also spends time with a Manhattan Christian second grader as part of the school's Buddy program, which he's come to really enjoy.

"So it's kind of cool to be with him and hang out with him," said Lodine. "It's super cool because they get a little view of what high school life is like and we take them to a game and we say hi to them."

Being a senior and spending time with younger kids has Lodine taking his role as a mentor very seriously, and that attitude, as well as his compassion, hasn't gone unnoticed by his coach.

"It's a whole different environment and source, all these kids looking up to you and it's just crazy to know that you're in that position," Lodine said.

"Like I said, it brings out the ethics of care, you know?" said Bellach. "And Joey's a very caring person, so I think it's a good experience for him."

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