CLEMMONS, N.C. — You might say basketball is like music. The ball hitting the court: resonance. A shoe squeaking against the hardwood: pitch. The perfect shot: crescendo. And then there's the discipline.
"I think both go hand in hand. You have to be very disciplined to be a musician – same thing with an athlete. You have to practice it. You have to do it when nobody is looking. You have to be able to work hard when nobody is watching you do it."
Coach Tommy Witt says 8th grader Gavin Hardy brings a certain harmony to the Clemmons Middle School gym.
"I hope to play at a division one school. My dream is to play in the NBA but I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work but I’m willing to put in the work," Gavin said.
Averaging 19 points per game as the Cardinal’s small forward he has big dreams and the mindset to make it happen.
"Just keeping the tunnel vision, staying focused, you gotta block out all of the distractions that get in your mind, know what you want and attack it. Strive to be the best," he said.
For 10 years Gavin’s been on the court.
"I was dribbling basketballs around age three."
But playing the National Anthem on his bass was something he’d never done before.
"It’s funny – we want to get people to play the national anthem and I went to [his orchestra teacher] Barbara and said, 'Do you think he can play the national anthem in his uniform?'" Witt said.
"It was just a no brainier he can do anything," Gavin's orchestra teacher, Barbara Bell said. "What ever he puts his mind to he can do."
See, Gavin isn’t just really good at playing basketball.
"His playing is beyond exceptional for his age," Bell said.
He’s also really good at playing the bass.
"I’ve been listening to classical music ever since I was four. I just like the string family and I like the dark tone of the bass," Gavin said.
Gavin says he usually listens to string music to get pumped up for a game but before the team played Winston-Salem Prep he decided he’d be the string music before tip off.
"I just thought it’d be cool for a basketball player on the team to play the bass before a game."
Judging by the applause, it's clear that his classmates thought it was cool, too.
Bell says Gavin’s talent and hard work together hit the right notes.
"He’s always interested in more he keeps working harder to get to the next level."
A trait he’s certainly rehearsed on the basketball court.
"When your best player is also your hardest worker you have a chance to be really good and that’s what Gavin has done for us," Witt said.
It not just about draining a three or perfecting a song for Gavin -- it’s about both.
"If you’re gifted at two things you should be able to do both of them," he said.