“I started playing basketball when I was four years old in my backyard,” Jacob Sala states.
Sala, a 6’8 senior from Lakewood High school, talks to me about basketball. Mostly on his perspective of the game and personal things about the fine, young gentlemen. In elementary school, he was bigger than everyone and intimidated people.
“Basketball was always pretty easy for me, but I was never as tall as I am now. I grew more in middle school,” he says. Sala did one other sport in middle school and that was football. He was a quarterback because of his large body structure. He has too much love for the game of basketball. “I think eighth grade after I quit football I knew that basketball was for me.”
Sala is a nice and honest man on and off the court. Most basketball players do things before games or show off in front of people, but that’s not who Jacob is. He is a humble man. When I asked him if he did anything to prepare himself before games he laughed a little bit. His response made me laugh. He says, “Nothing really, some people have pre game rituals and stuff, but I just listen to music,” His favorite artist is Meek Mill. As a player on the court, Sala cares not only for his personal game but his teammates as well. Everyone has fun when that big guy is on the hardwood floor. The basketball team’s record at Lakewood High School for the 2017-2018 season was 22-2. That is the best record in school history.
Basketball is a game of runs. You win some, you lose some. Sometimes your team will be shooting lights out and other games your opponent will be shooting lights out, it goes both ways. It’s all about heart and mentality. You have to be confident in yourself and your teammates. Most importantly, never give up. Sala gave me a solid response on what the definition of a “great basketball team” is. He states, “A team that’s unselfish that wants their teammates to be the best they can be and thats successful.” Considering the 22-2 record, I think we could say that this group of young men were a great and mature squad.
Sala set himself goals at the beginning of the season and achieved all of them at the end of the season. He says, “I wanted to win the conference title in the Southwestern Conference and I wanted to be first team all conference. I achieved both of those things.”
When Sala is ever struggling with basketball, he doesn’t get upset and get down on himself like most people, he simply talks to the coach for help. “Sometimes I talk to my coach and ask him what he thinks I should do,” Sala states. Most players are too afraid to talk to their own coach and look them right in the eye. It takes maturity.
“My role this year was to be a leader and a great teammate to the young kids,” he says. He cares about the program one hundred percent . His number one role model is the kid from Akron, Ohio, and that happens to be LeBron James. He loves the way James carries himself on and off the court, along with his ups and downs.
The big man will be attending Notre Dame College next year in the next step of his wonderful basketball journey.