In the spotlight this week is student-athlete Jay Dye, a senior guard on the Auburn High basketball team.
Auburn Villager: What positions do you play?
Jay Dye: Shooting guard, small forward, sometimes post.
AV: When did you starting playing basketball?
JD: My very first time playing ball I was probably 4 or 5 years old.
AV: How did you get into playing?
JD: My whole family played basketball and football, so it just kind of ran in the family.
AV: Did you ever have any role models or players you emulated growing up?
JD: My granddaddy, I look up to him, and my uncle —they really were my role models. And my favorite player — the first player I ever watched, actually — was Kobe Bryant, and I still look up to him.
AV: What did you learn from watching Bryant?
JD: I learned that no matter what you've got to keep going hard and you've got to learn to motivate yourself. You've got to stay in the gym and work on your game as much as possible if you want to be successful and move on to the next level.
AV: What do you like most about playing basketball?
JD: I've got to say the excitement that comes with the game because it's a lot of stuff. I like getting the crowd on their feet. I'm doing it for the team, but I like putting on a show for the crowd, get the crowd into the game a lot and get them going.
AV: What's the biggest challenge?
JD: The biggest challenge is getting everybody on the team to buy in and getting everybody on the team to be more disciplined. This is one of our more inexperienced teams, so it's going to take some time. But we're getting there.
AV: How does it feel stepping into a leadership role now that you're a senior?
JD: It feels good because I like being a leader. I feel like I play better being a leader. Last year, I had to learn some stuff from the leaders because they were more of a veteran group. This year, I had to step up to tell everybody what to do, where to go and all that and be there for coach when he needs an opinion on stuff.
AV: How is the season going so far?
JD: We're 5-2, so I feel like we're doing pretty good. Both of our losses came to Eufaula, which is a really good team, probably the best team we'll play all year. We've got some more competition coming up during Christmas break and January. We're looking to lose no more than two games to the end of this year, and then next year we'll see where it goes.
AV: As a senior, do you know what you're going to do yet after you graduate?
JD: Probably go to college and play basketball and major in sports medicine or athletic training.
AV: Do you have any hobbies outside of sports that you enjoy?
JD: I play video games, of course. And I like going out to eat all the time with my friends.