Somewhere, there's a happy medium between the absolute joyous freedom that Germantown junior point guard Lamonte Bearden believes he plays with and the controlled fury that his coach, Warhawks mentor Steve Showalter, would like to see his NOW All-Suburban ace actually conduct.
Showalter admits that Bearden, the quicksilver point guard, who stepped in for the graduated Josh Mongan and helped the Warhawks conduct another symphony of success, had many, many moments this season.
"He has as much talent at that position (point guard) as I've ever seen," Showalter said. "He seems to be three or four steps ahead of everyone else."
In the brilliant rout of eventual state D4 champion during the regular season Dominican, Bearden didn't have direct responsibility for the Knights' all-state guard Duane Wilson, but he would often take advantage of his "free agent's" role on the press and after Wilson broke containment he would sneak up from behind and poke the ball away from Wilson and start a fastbreak going the other way.
He would finish the campaign with a preposterously high 94 steals, more than twice as many as any other Warhawk.
And in the WIAA state semifinal victory over Oshkosh North, he took the clock down in both the first and second quarters and launched and hit preposterously long 3-point buzzer-beaters that just took the heart out of the Spartans.
"I had to shoot them," he said after that game. "I was pretty confident that I could hit them."
And with good reason, he had the best three-point percentage of anyone who hit 10 or more of the long bombs on the year for Germantown (42 percent) along with averaging 13.1 ppg..
To relieve the tension during close games, he would often chew gum and blows bubbles, just before making an ankle-breaking crossover dribble and a killer pass for an easy lay-up.
Yet, before anyone believes him to be a self-promoting hot-dog, he had a tough-minded team-first attitude that led to an impressive team-high 146 assists (more than five a game) and he was absolutely clutch at the foul line with a team-high number of makes (94) and he was second in percentage only to Jake Showalter.
Bearden was 94 of 112 (83.9 percent) from the charity stripe as compared to Jake Showalter's 47 of 55 (85.5 percent).
But, as noted, there is a reason why his coach Steve Showalter would love the first-team All-North Shore Conference selection to tone it down just a little heading into his senior season as he did have a team-high 65 turnovers.
However, the coach would admit that most of those turnovers were from trying to do too much as opposed to doing too little.
"He's a great kid, wonderful to coach," said Showalter. "He plays the point with a flare I haven't seen in forever. He still has things to learn and you never know how hard he's playing because he makes everything look effortless."
Bearden and his half-brother Brian came from Homestead before the end of their sophomore year, ingratiated themselves with their future teammates in the summer and made themselves invaluable members of the Warhawks' second state championship in a row.
"It's pretty comfortable right now," Lamonte said. "My Mom and Dad are doing well (in Germantown) and I like the chemistry here, especially on the coaching staff. They know when to let us play around and when it's time to get down to business."
And Lamonte and Brian have earned some good graces as day-to-day students too.
"I have both of them in class," said Germantown history teacher and former two-time state champion girls swim coach Dick Zache. "I joke about which one is better looking and they're like 'What?' But they are great guys. They don't flaunt anything and they keep a low-profile in class."
"They've been accepted pretty well. They come in and do their work. Just another face in the school."
But Zache knows that Lamonte and Brian carry bigger burdens.
"I just remind them not to forget who you're representing," he said. "Your school and your community."
It's clear they already do.