Josh Richardson, sophomore shooting guard, focused his basketball roots around family.

Born and raised in Edmond, Okla., Richardson was always in the gym.

"I've been playing since I was four," said Richardson. "My mom (refereed) games and coached, so you'd always see me in the gym with the ball."

Richardson's family members have been playing basketball virtually all their lives, so it's in his blood. Not all of them played at the collegiate level, but their love for the game has rubbed off on him.

The sophomore has two sisters that played basketball and one who continued her career at Oklahoma State University. Richardson's family is still a part of his basketball career, and they show it by coming to every game to support and watch him play.

Richardson focuses on hard work and love for the game when playing.

"I can honestly say I look up to Joe Johnson," he said. "He's an incredibly hard worker and is great on the ball. I guess you could say his game is similar to mine."

Richardson's hard work has paid off in his first season with the Vols. He played in 34 games and earned nine starts last season. Richardson is excited for the Vols' upcoming season after their first practice Friday.

"The practices have been going well," said Richardson. "I see immense strides on our team. I think our hard work will help us further down in the season. I really think that we could surprise people and live up to our full potential."

Richardson hopes that he can contribute as much as possible in the upcoming season.

"I just want to play as hard as I can each game and have a positive impact on the team," he said.

After a four-win streak in Italy at the beginning of the 2012 school year, the team will play against Victory University on Nov. 5th at Thompson-Boling Arena.