« Men’s Basketball 2014-15

Josh Richardson





Josh Richardson needs just one class in the spring semester to graduate with a degree in psychology. Adrian Rodriguez, a counseling psychology doctoral student at Tennessee says, “I remember Josh Richardson as an intelligent, friendly person. He was always in good spirits and often provided insight during class lectures. From my observations of his group work, he also seemed to participate and collaborate well with his classmates. I am very proud of him for his accomplishments.” Tennessee professor Dr. Ben Stocking says, “Josh was a great example of genuine character and added great insight to the class discussion.”


Throughout his career, Richardson has always been a team leader by example. With nine newcomers on the roster this season, he has now also taken a vocal leadership role on the team. He knows his influence does not end with his teammates and that young fans are watching and looking up to him as well, much like he did for his sports heroes growing up. He was invited to be the featured speaker at Central Baptist Church of Bearden’s summer basketball clinic for inner-city youth at Knoxville’s Harriet Tubman Park. He spoke to the kids about his faith, answered all of their questions, then posed for photos and signed autographs for each camper. He has made numerous trips to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to spend time with patients there and has been a part of Athletes in Action on basketball tours in Jamaica, Poland and Germany, playing basketball and also visiting with children in orphanages in addition to other outreach opportunities on those trips.


When it comes to community service, Richardson has been a perennial leader. For four years, Richardson has volunteered at Knoxville’s annual Hoops for Hope event, which benefits the East Tennessee Down Syndrome awareness group. During the summers of 2012 and 2013, Richardson worked as an instructor at Tennessee Basketball S.H.O.T. Clinics throughout the state of Tennessee, teaching children basketball fundamentals and speaking to them about being good students, citizens and teammates. He has twice spent a full day laboring at Knoxville Habitat for Humanity build projects (2012 and 2013), and he participated in the dedication ceremony of the Habitat home he worked on in 2012. He recently participated in the Run for Veterans in September 2014 to help raise funds for the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial and HonorAir Knoxville. In September, he spent an evening reading books to kids as part of an anti-bullying initiative in Knoxville.


As Tennessee’s only returning starter, Richardson enters his senior season as the leader of his team on and off the court. He has been a starter the first three years of his career and put together his best year as a junior. He was named to the 2014 SEC All-Defense Team and averaged 10.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 34 percent from 3-point range. Richardson had a breakout performance to end his junior year in the NCAA Tournament, helping lead UT to the Sweet 16. During the run, he averaged 19.4 points per game and led the team in field-goal percentage (.617) and assists (3.0 apg). He enters his final season with 739 career points, 261 points away from joining the 1,000-point club at Tennessee.