Sisters Klarissa Weaver and Tabitha Fudge have a unique bond on the basketball court.
Growing up with hearing-impaired parents, the siblings have learned sign language and use it to their advantage on the court. But it is more than signing that sets the duo apart from their peers.
Weaver, a 6-foot-1 junior, and Fudge, a 5-11 senior, form one of the most intimidating frontcourts in the area and have helped Miller Grove develop into a postseason threat. The Wolverines won 20 games for the first time and earned their first state tournament win last year. This season the Wolverines won their division in Region 6-AAAA and enter the region tournament at 17-4 after a 10-loss season a year ago.
Fudge, who has signed a scholarship to NCAA Division I High Point University in North Carolina, leads the team in rebounding. Weaver, who had 17 blocks in the final three regular season games, leads the county with 64 rejections.
“I use them as leaders and as examples for the others,” said Miller Grove coach Renee Breedlove. “They come in and get the work done. Their communication and level of commitment is unreal. It’s been some years since I’ve coached sisters who come in and work so well together.”
Fudge and Weaver are both quick to point out that Breedlove deserves the credit for their development. Both have played basketball since elementary school but had other interests before focusing on hoops in high school.
“I always have room to learn,” Fudge said. “She was giving us things to build on every year. She relies on our leadership because she knows we’re going do what she tells us.”
Said Weaver: “Coach Breedlove taught me how to rebound and how to post up. Whatever is important to me, she taught me. Coach is really serious about us going to college and wanting us to be successful in all parts of our lives. ”
But it’s the intangibles that can’t be taught that the sisters use to bring the Wolverines together.
“Both are good leaders,” Breedlove said. “They lead by example. They come in on time and work hard. They’re good motivators and they’re always trying to pick people up.”
With Weaver and Fudge leading the way from the post, and junior Tashi Thompson scoring from the outside, the Wolverines have become more of a complete team this season. Miller Grove is second only to Chamblee in the county in points allowed, giving up 34.4 per game. The Wolverines also lead the county in blocked shots.
“We’re more close-knit as a team,” Fudge said. “We are working with each other better; communication and team bonding helps with that.”
The siblings are hoping those factors will help them go even farther in the state playoffs this year than last, when the Wolverines lost in the third round.