Charlie Obaugh RV & Outdoor Center Student Athlete of the Week: Finn Irving

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 6:52 PM EST
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FISHERSVILLE, Va. (WHSV) - Finn Irving is one of the top high school basketball players in the Shenandoah Valley and over his high school career, he has racked up awards and academic success.

“I just love everything about basketball. I love playing it, I love watching it, fantasy basketball, everything, all parts of the game. I mean I love to shoot I would say that’s my favorite part but you know basketball, in general, is my favorite thing to do, having a good day play basketball, having a bad day play basketball,” said Irving, a Senior at Wilson Memorial High School in Fishersville.

Irving has been a four-year varsity player for the Wilson Memorial Boys Basketball Team. Last season as a junior he was named 2nd Team All 3A State and he has won back-to-back Shenandoah District Player of the Year Awards.

“We go as he goes. If he has a really good game we’re hard to beat. If he doesn’t shoot the ball well or there are some other things he’s struggling with it’s a little bit tougher. But the things he brings to the game day in and day out make us one of the top teams in the area,” said Wilson Memorial Basketball Head Coach Jeremy Hartman.

Irving sets the tone for his team with his strong work ethic, his coach says each season he has expanded his game.

“It used to be he was just a shooter then he added some off-the-ball type stuff then he added some off-the-ball type stuff, then he added his ball handling, then he added the post play. Each year he’s gotten better and better and by the time he’s a senior you pick your poison when you’re trying to defend him,” said Hartman.

Irving said he does his best to form strong relationships with all the players in the Wilson Memorial Program and serve as a mentor for younger players. He is also a leader on and off the court.

“I’m more of a lead-by-example kind of behind-the-scenes type. So if someone makes a mistake in a game I’m not gonna bark at them loud right then, I’m gonna maybe during a time out or in between quarters or at halftime pull them aside and talk to them one on one,” said Irving. “Not to make them feel like they messed up but in more of a teaching role because I’ve played a lot of varsity games at this point so I feel like I have a lot of experience I can pass on.”

Coach Hartman said that Irving’s leadership by example rubs off on his teammates.

“He comes in every day and does the work. He’s got his routines, he’s got things he’s got to get done and he does those things. When guys see him doing that it’s real easy to fall in line when your best player is doing all the things that you want your best player to do so guys naturally follow him,” said Hartman.

Irving is also a pitcher and first baseman for Wilson Memorial’s Baseball Team. He was named Second-Team All-Region as a junior in the 2022 spring season.

“Pitching has always been my favorite part of baseball. I love the whole game but I love to pitch, I love being up there on that mound kind of being the focus, and that one on one aspect of pitching is my favorite,” said Irving.

In school Irving is a great student, he ranks near the top of his class with a 4.27 GPA and attends the Shenandoah Valley Regional Governor’s School.

“Finn is always a pleasure to have in the classroom. He always has unique ideas and he thinks outside the box which probably helps him both on the court and in the classroom. He’s always a positive influence in the class, he has lots of great ideas and always just a positive attitude,” said Chris Ordeneaux, a Biology teacher at Wilson Memorial.

Ordeneaux said that Irving is able to bring great perspective to his advanced studies Biology course which enriches the class experience for everyone.

“We talk about lots of advanced concepts and a lot of times there’s room for interpretation or extrapolation and Finn is great at coming up with unique ideas other students might not come up with,” he said. “That creates a really unique identity and a really fun atmosphere in the classroom.”

In the fall Irving volunteered his time to be a manager and statistician for Wilson Memorial’s volleyball team. It was something he was very interested in as he will be majoring in Statistics at the University of Virginia in the fall.

Irving said that he prepares for and handles his academics and athletics in a similar manner which has helped him be successful.

“I’m a very tedious person, very detail oriented. Not O-C-D but that type of mindset where I like things to be orderly and in the right way. So I try to keep my school work done on time nice and neat and then I try to keep a clean game on the court I guess,” he said.

As he prepares to graduate Irving said he hopes that his teammates and classmates will remember him as someone they enjoyed being around. He also offered some advice for younger athletes.

“During the season I would just say the game starts to slow down the more you play it so you just have to trust the process. The more you play and the more time you put in, the results will come if you put in the work. So come to off-season workouts, really work hard in practice to get better, and you will see that improvement,” he said.