In the spotlight this week is student-athlete Caleb Kariuki, a senior post player on the Auburn High basketball team.
Auburn Villager: When did you get your start playing basketball?
Caleb Kariuki: My first time ever playing basketball would probably be fifth grade when I played rec. I tried out for the team in seventh and eighth grade, and I didn't make it. And then I didn't try out again until 10th-grade year, and I made B-team. I did good, I guess, and then got put on varsity for my 11th- and 12th-grade year.
AV: What's the biggest difference now that you're on varsity?
CK: It's a lot different, learning everything fast to get everything down and being able to do the best I can Friday and Tuesday nights to win.
AV: What is it like to be a leader on the team now?
CK: It's different, but it's fun always. Just learning from the seniors from last year and the year before that, and then learn how to just be a leader and help the young guys out with anything they're having trouble with — learning plays or something at school, any help.
AV: Did you have any players you looked up to or picked up pointers from?
CK: Yeah. The previous years I got Garrison (Brooks), Karl (Grover) and Preston Cook, and now Justin (Brooks). He's been on varsity for three years now, so learned some stuff from him being a point guard. Those are people I've looked up to, and I've learned a lot from them.
AV: Do you have any NBA or college players you like watching?
CK: Obviously, Zion (Williamson). He's the real deal. NBA-wise, I don't watch a lot of NBA basketball, but I do like the Lakers with having Lebron (James) on the team. It's fun to watch them.
AV: Have you picked up any pointers from watching them?
CK: With Zion, him being aggressive and me being more aggressive in a game. I picked up little things.
AV: How is the season going for you and the team?
CK: It's going all right. There's still stuff we need to correct after losing Friday to Central. I see lots of stuff I need to work on for us to beat them next Friday and continue to get better from there, getting more area wins and hopefully have a chance to host area here, and then get onto Regionals.
AV: As a senior, do you know what you want to do yet after you graduate?
CK: I want to go to college. I thought about going to Columbus State if I don't go anywhere for scholarships from either track or basketball. And I want to do forensic sciences, be like a detective.
AV: What intrigues you about the forensic sciences?
CK: It's just interesting to me, and I could see myself doing that.
AV: What events do you run in track?
CK: I do triple jump. I want to maybe try high (jump) again this year and long jump, hopefully.
AV: What's the biggest challenge in triple jump?
CK: Holding phases and having a strong core and having a strong approach.
AV: Do you have any hobbies outside of sports?
CK: I like to eat a lot and watch Netflix whenever I'm not working or have homework.
AV: Favorite food?
CK: I don't know. I like a lot of things. I'd probably say ribs or something like that. Ribs are pretty good.