Henrico Warrior Basketball
 
 

Walt Atwell is in his tenth season at Henrico High School.  Atwell has extensive experience coaching high school basketball in the Richmond area.  Before moving to Henrico, he worked with Vance Harmon as an assistant coach at Tucker High School from 2001 - 2003.  He served as an assistant coach for the varsity girls team at Godwin High School during the 2000-2001 season.  Before that, he was JV head coach at Tucker High School from 1996 - 1998.  Also, while attending Radford University (‘95), Atwell served as an assistant to the varsity boys team at Radford High School during the 1994-1995 season.


A graduate of Tucker High School (‘91), Atwell earned varsity letters in basketball, baseball, and tennis.  He currently works as the P.E. teacher at Ridge Elementary School, and teaches family life for elementary school boys in Henrico County.  In addition, he is a state trainer for the Virginia Department of Education in Family Life.  Atwell was honored as the 2000-2001 Elementary P.E. Teacher of the Year in Henrico County and again as the Teacher of the Year at Ridge Elementary School during the 2008-2009 school year.


Atwell is the proud father of Darby and Barrett Atwell and husband to Monica Atwell.

Walt Atwell


Varsity Assistant Coach




Name: Walt Atwell

Age: 39

Hometown: Richmond, VA

 

This is Blake Choplin’s ninth season at Henrico, and ninth season coaching high school basketball.  Choplin spent two seasons as a varsity assistant and three seasons as a JV assistant before becoming JV head coach in the 2009 - 2010 season.  In his first season as head coach, Choplin lead the Warriors to a 5 - 0 start and an impressive 13 - 3 final record.  This included two wins against Highland Springs (HHS’s first JV victory against the Springers since the 03-04 season) and one win against a talented John Marshall team.  His second season was a 14 - 6 campaign highlighted by one win against Highland Springs and one against Varina.  His career record is 27 - 9.  His first season at Henrico in 2004 - 2005 was highlighted with Henrico’s second-ever trip to the State Tournament. 


Before coaching at Henrico, Choplin attended the University of Richmond (‘04) where he earned a degree in psychology and elementary education.  While in school, he worked with the men’s basketball team for four years.  He worked two years with John Beilein (now head coach at University of Michigan) and two years with Jerry Wainwright, including the Spiders’ 2004 NCAA tournament appearance. 


Originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Choplin attended Mount Tabor High School (‘99).  In his senior year, he helped the Spartans to the school’s first appearance in the round of 16 in the North Carolina State Tournament.

This season will be Tim Jones sixth as an assistant coach at Henrico.  Jones also has seven years experience coaching AAU basketball and is an accomplished athlete in his own right.  As a professional football player, he spent six years playing arena football with the Richmond Speed and the Richmond Bandits.  Jones, a wartime veteran, also spent two seasons playing basketball professionally in Frankfurt, Germany, after his service in the military. 


As a Henrico graduate (‘89), Jones lays claim to being a member of the only undefeated JV team in Henrico history (21 - 0).  Longtime Henrico coach Guy Davis described him as “One of the top 20 best scorers in Henrico history.” 


Jones advocates for community involvement.  He promotes “A healthy body equals a strong mind, equals a productive citizen”.  He currently runs a non-profit organization called Youth Wellness.

Coaching experience




Henrico Assistant: 9 years

Tucker Assistant: 4 years

Godwin Assistant: 1 year

Radford Assistant: 1 year

 

    JV  assistant  Coach




Name: Tim Jones

Age: 39

Hometown: Richmond, VA

 

    JV  head  coach




Name: Blake Choplin

Age: 32

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC

 

Blake Choplin

Tim Jones


Varsity Assistant Coach




Name: Lawrence Walden

Age: 45

Hometown: Richmond, VA

 

Coaching experience




Henrico Assistant: 8 years

Atlee Assistant: 3 years

 

Lawrence Walden will be starting his ninth year as a coach at Henrico and his eleventh season of coaching high school basketball.  With five years as JV head coach at Henrico, Walden compiled an impressive record including an 18 - 4 record in the 2008-2009 season.  His experience also includes three years as the JV head coach at Atlee High School and two years of coaching AAU with Team Richmond.


Walden also had a distinguished playing career in the Richmond area.  At Highland Springs High School (‘84), he averaged 15 points per game his junior season, 17 points per game his senior season, and was honored by having his name placed on the HSHS Wall of Fame.  He was  selected as all-district his junior and senior seasons, and all-metro his senior season.  He continued his career at Saint Paul’s College (‘89).  He is currently the 5th all-time leading scorer in Saint Paul’s history.  As a senior, he earned 1st team all conference honors in the CIAA.  After college, Walden played 2 years professionally in the GBA and USBL.  He is the father of former Henrico player Kris Walden who is currently playing at Towson University.

Lawrence Walden


Varsity Assistant Coach




Name: Chris Brown

Age: 44

Hometown: Montpelier, VA

 

Coaching experience




Henrico Assistant: 3 years

St. Christopher’s Head Coach: 4 years

St. Christopher’s Assistant:

2 years

Tucker Head Coach: 7 years

Tucker Assistant: 7 years

 

Chris Brown, a graduate of VCU (‘91), will be in his fourth season with the Henrico basketball program.  He has 13 years of head coaching experience at the high school level in the Richmond area.  Brown comes to Henrico from St. Christopher’s School, where he served as the head coach from 2005-2009. While at St. Christopher’s he led the program to its first Top 10 area ranking in several decades in 2005, as the team started 6-0 and defeated perennial power Benedictine. At season’s end in 2005-06, Brown was named Virginia Prep League Coach of the Year and saw two of his players matriculate to college basketball programs. In 2006-07, the Saints won the Virginia Prep League championship for the first time in 40 years and gained a berth in VISAA state tournament for only the second time in the 100 year history of St. Christopher’s school. That season was capped off with Brown being named Virginia Prep League Coach of the Year for an unprecedented second consecutive season.  In 2009, Brown’s team won the Virginia Prep League Sportsmanship award, given annually to the conference team which best exhibits sportsmanship and respect towards opponents and officials. 

Coach Brown arrived at St. Christopher’s after 7 seasons as the head coach at J.R. Tucker High School. During his tenure there, the Tigers won 53 games. Brown’s 1998 team finished with 16 wins and made it to the Colonial District championship game before losing to Hermitage. That season, his team also made the program’s first regional appearance since 1981. The Tigers defeated Prince George in the first round of the regional tournament before bowing to the state’s second-ranked team, Highland Springs, in the second round.

The 1999 team at Tucker began the season ranked number 5 in the metro area, the highest pre –season ranking for a Tucker team ever. Injuries slowed the team early, but Tucker rallied to win 6 straight games late in the season and finish 3rd in the Colonial District regular season. After a lopsided first round district tournament victory over Hermitage, Tucker lost to Freeman in a close semifinal game. The Tigers secured a second consecutive regional berth that year, the first back to back regional berths for the Tucker program since 1975 and 1976. Brown’s charges fell to Manchester in the regional tournament’s first round to conclude a fantastic two-year run for the Tigers.

In addition to basketball, Coach Brown has coached a variety of other sports during his 17 year tenure at Tucker High School and success has followed at each stop. Brown was an assistant football coach for the 1992 and 1993 seasons. The Tigers qualified for the regional playoffs for the only time in school history during the 1992 season. 

Brown was an assistant coach for the Tucker track team and was in charge of high jumpers and sprinters form 1993-2002. He coached the school record holders in boys and girls high jump (the records still stand) and coached 3 district champions and 7 state participants in 10 years in the event. Brown is still heavily involved in the area’s post-season track schedule, annually serving as the high jump official for district, regional and state meets.

The last seven springs, Coach Brown has led the girls’ tennis team at Tucker to new heights. The Tucker tennis program has recorded 4 ten-win seasons in the past 7 years and twice has broken the school record for wins in a season. Brown’s career tennis record stands at 65-36 and he has seen 2 of his players go on to play collegiate tennis.  The 2009 season culminated with Brown being named Colonial District and Central Region Girls Tennis Coach of the Year.

Chris Brown

Henrico Men’s Basketball Assistant Coaches

Coaching experience




Henrico Assistant: 8 years

 

Coaching experience




Henrico Assistant: 4 years

 

Varsity Assistant Coach




Name: David Hamlin

Age: 52

Hometown: Richmond, VA

 

Coaching experience




Henrico Assistant: 3 years

AAU (Team Richmond):   10 years

 

In his third season at Henrico High School, David Hamlin has 11 years of experience coaching some of the area's finest players with the Team Richmond AAU program. Hamlin worked with many future college standouts, including Tyrese Rice (L.C. Bird/Boston College), Ryan Butler (Douglas Freeman/University of Richmond), Reid Augst (Benedictine/UNC Asheville), Marcus Ginyard (Bishop O'Connell/UNC), Brett James (Mills Godwin/Elon), Chris Harris  (Benedictine/Navy) and Jason Wansley (Henrico/Virginia Union). Team Richmond squads captured three state championships and three national top-10 finishes. Hamlin assisted Warriors coach Vance Harmon when Team Richmond won a state title in 2002. 

A graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School (1976), Hamlin was part of a Vikings program, coached by Dave Robbins, that won a state championship in 1975.

Hamlin has a degree in Mass Communications from VCU (1981). For much of his professional life, Hamlin was a sports journalist, including a stint at the Richmond Times-Dispatch (1990-2009). He now teaches english as a Second Language (ESL) at James River High School.

Hamlin is married to Deanna Hamlin, and the couple has three grown children (Isaiah, Renee, and Austin) who were standout athletes at Douglas Freeman.

David Hamlin