It’s a nickname he got when he was playing seventh grade ball and his coach said “Hey, Soup” in reference to his last name and it just stuck. JaVontae Campbell or “Soup”, as his friends and teammates know him, is a senior at Muskogee High School and says he kind of likes the nickname.
“It’s okay. It’s kind of unique,” said Soup (who volunteered that his favorite kind is chicken noodle).
Campbell used a combination of quickness and heady play to average 18 points a game last year as the Roughers were just one game away from making the state tournament.
“If you look at his shooting chart, he didn’t shoot much because we had several good scorers last year, but he had a high shooting percentage,” said his coach Lynwood Wade. “He would also get 8 or 10 points a game with steals and layups.”
Campbell takes a lot of pride in his defensive skills and welcomes the challenge of each opponent.
“I love playing defense and I always want to guard the best guy on the other team.”
And his coach loves the way he plays defense.
“My focus with him on defense is to be solid and keep the other guy in front him. Time your steal attempts and be careful about reach-in fouls. He’s also great at taking charges when you need to. There’s nothing better than when your leader is out there taking charges for the team,” said Wade.
With some of the key components of last year’s team gone, “Soup” has worked hard on different aspects of his game during the offseason.
“I think I’ve improved my shooting and I’m working on my playmaking because I’ll probably have the ball in my hands a lot more this year,” said Campbell.
As a senior, another role that Campbell will have this year is that of leader according to Wade.
“He’s coming back as our leading scorer and our leader in steals. He’s the glue for our team this year,” said the Rougher head coach.
And being a leader is role that “Soup” says he’s ready for.
“I don’t take it easy on the younger guys in practice. I show them how it is, and I push everyone to let them know how the varsity game is going to be.”
Campbell is one of those guys that plays taller than his 6-1 frame would lead you to believe.
“He’s got a high basketball IQ and I think that helps offset what he lacks in height,” said Wade.
When he’s not working out or in the gym, “Soup” says he likes to watch Netflix or play video games.
Maybe with a grilled cheese and some chicken noodle soup on the side?