This week's River Bank & Trust Athlete of the Week is Auburn High's Quinnus Fletcher, a senior on the Tigers' basketball team.
Auburn Villager: What position do you play?
Quinnus Fletcher: I play point guard and shooting guard.
AV: In general, how did you get your start playing basketball?
QF: I've always been playing basketball since I was young. I really started getting into it in fourth or fifth grade. That's when I started playing travel ball. I just kept going ever since then.
AV: What was it about basketball that drew you to playing it?
QF: I used to play football, and that was a little too much contact for me, so basketball it is.
AV: What is the most challenging aspect of playing?
QF: I'm smaller, a skinnier kind of guy, so you just have to play more physical. Being smaller and skinnier, I had to play against guys that were bigger and faster than me, so I had to adjust to that.
AV: Do you have any basketball players you looked up to as role models?
QF: My dad used to play basketball when he was in high school, so he taught me some stuff along the way. But my favorite basketball player of all time is Lebron James, so I just try to watch him and take some stuff from there. And last year, senior Justin Brooks, he really took me under his wing, so I kind of just picked up some stuff from his game as well.
AV: What did you pick up from watching Lebron?
QF: He likes to pass, he gets his teammates involved, and I love doing that. It's not all about scoring; you've got to get your teammates involved, too.
AV: How is the season going so far?
QF: Good, good. We're a young team, and I think we're 8-5 right now. We just want to get to January being the best team in our area, and once we win area anything can happen — go into regionals with a lot of momentum and anything can happen in regionals. Our goal is to get to the Final Four.
AV: With the team being so young, what has it been like stepping into a leadership role as a senior?
QF: I just try to get the best out of my teammates. They're young; they're going to make mistakes, and that was me as a sophomore, too, as a junior. When they make a mistake, don't try to talk down to them. Build them up because mistakes are going to happen. Just me being a senior, being a leader on the team, I just try to get the best out of them every day in practice, in games.
AV: What do you guys need to do to get where you want to be when area play starts?
QF: We just learn from our mistakes. Once we learn from them, we can't just keep making the same mistakes over and over and over again. We've just got to watch film and learn from those mistakes.
AV: How did it feel hitting two clutch threes down the stretch in the Tallassee game to win?
QF: That game was a movie. That game was great. The atmosphere was great; our fans were amazing. Coach (Chris) Brandt coached his butt off. And we just delivered. We just showed up and hit the shots that we needed to hit. Miles Hunt had a great game, 21 points. Eli Elston, another junior, stepped up. He played one heck of a game. Bryson (Clague), another junior, stepped up. We just all stepped up when we needed to. Our senior power forward, Trevor Mashburn, he went down with injury, and the young guys stepped up when they needed to. We got the win.
AV: As a senior, do you know what you want to do yet after you graduate?
QF: I'm looking to go play basketball at Huntingdon, and I want to study sports management.
Interview by Brian Woodham