This week's Athlete of the Week is Auburn High's Olivia Porter, a sophomore on the Tigers' basketball team.
Auburn Villager: What position do you play on the basketball team?
Olivia Porter: Point guard.
AV: In general, when did you get your start playing basketball?
OP: When I was a kid, I was always wild, and my mom was like, 'You need to settle down,' so she put me in sports, and so I played a bunch of them. But basketball, I just had a certain love for it and so I just kept on playing it.
AV: What do you like most about playing?
OP: When I play, it's like everything goes away, all my problems, school. When I'm there and I dribble the ball, I feel like I'm me, and that's something that nobody can take away from me.
AV: On the flipside, what is the most challenging aspect of playing?
OP: Just trying to be the best player on the court and just trying to get your teammates better and getting the win, of course. There are a lot of things — you miss parties because you're dedicated to the game, and that's not just to basketball; that's to everything. And so when you miss all that, you kind of miss being a kid and just growing up and doing what normal people do. But you just know there's sacrifices and that it will pay off in the long run.
AV: As the general on the floor, what's the key to being a successful point guard?
OP: Just knowing that your job is not necessarily to score; your job is to put people in positions to get a basket and to get a bucket. And even though it's frustrating trying to tell people where to be at, you just know that's what your coach trusts you to be — I'm just another coach on the floor, which is for my players, my teammates.
AV: Did you have any role models growing up?
OP: I don't really watch a lot of WNBA, so I watch a bunch of NBA players. And it's really Lebron (James) because Lebron, he scores, he does what he needs to do, but he also implements his teammates into the game as well. And it's a team thing — you can't win a basketball game by yourself, so that's what I love about his game.
AV: How excited are you that the season is starting?
OP: I'm very excited. It's a new team completely from last year. We're young, so once we get used to playing together we'll be pretty good.
AV: Is it a challenge being only a sophomore but having to be a coach on the floor?
OP: Yeah, because when you're younger than most people they don't want to listen to you, but you have to I'm just doing what coach says. And so that's really the challenging part of it is getting everybody to listen.
AV: What are the goals for the team this season?
OP: We're trying to get to where we were last year, to the Final Four. And I want to continue the area championship, get a five-peat this year. Those are my main two goals this year.
AV: What are the keys to making that happen?
OP: Defense, making sure everybody knows their roles on the floor. Not everybody's going to score 20 points in a basketball game, and as soon as we get that through our heads we'll be fine, we'll be OK.
AV: Do you play any other sports?
OP: I used to, but now it's just basketball.
AV: Do you have any hobbies outside of sports that you like?
OP: I watch a lot of movies. I like going to movie theaters, especially with my brother.
AV: Favorite movie?
OP: I like "The Three Stooges." That's my all-time favorite movie. It's just funny. It always makes me laugh.
Interview by Brian Woodham