Yorktown senior Sol Barer is a team captain and starting guard on the varsity basketball team.
How old were you when you started playing basketball and how did you get started?
The first time I played basketball was quite literally the day I could walk. I picked up a mini basketball, staggered over to my mini hoop and dunked it.
What do you think are your strengths as a basketball player?
I pride myself on my understanding of the game and love to create opportunities to get my teammates open for a bucket. I am also very proud of the fact that I keep my poise while on the court, never getting too high or low. I recognize that the officials will not change the call and try to focus on the next play. I think this has benefitted me greatly.
As a senior captain on the team this year, how do you see your role as a leader?
I try to lead by example. Whether it be working hard in practice or keeping our attitudes up in a game. I also enjoy sharing the knowledge I've acquired over the years. Giving advice to a younger or less experienced player or calling an action I feel will be effective, making a difference on the court improves the level of competition for the whole team.
What is your favorite team activity, pregame or postgame ritual that you share with your teammates?
Something very simple. As the team runs into the locker room during warmups, we all slap and hit anything that will make noise: a bench, the wall, the lockers.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
My father. As someone who has played and coached at high levels, he has taught me a tremendous amount about the game we both love. He has taught me both intricate aspects of the game, as well as how to be a man and a good human being; and for that I am thankful and aspire to be like him.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
I wear orange every day...just kidding. Everybody knows that!
Do you plan on continuing basketball in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you decide on that college?
I do not plan to play basketball in college, but to rather go to a school to focus on my academics. I will most definitely play club or intramurals and look forward to competing with people I have yet to meet.
Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?
I plan to study engineering at college. My strengths and interests reside in math and science and I hope to make an impact on the world.
Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?
Probably Derrick Rose. He is a very entertaining and athletic player who plays the same position as I do. I also support the UCLA Bruins. I know one of the assistant coaches and just enjoy watching the way the team plays. They have several very talented, very fundamental players who play unselfishly.
What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?
Before a game, I like to listen to a variety of songs. Rap, hip-hop, rock, I like it all. Anything with a nice beat will get me ready, focused and pumped to play.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
I would pick super speed. It just seems very useful and applicable. Plus, I could run faster than all the people who would pick flying.
If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?
As much as I'd like to say I would want to visit somewhere around the equator, I think I'd have to say Europe. I want to travel across Europe and experience the many beautiful cultures we don't think about often enough.
What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?
My favorite pre-game meal is definitely pizza. A cheese slice or two will do the job just fine.
Best place to eat in Yorktown and why?
The many, many pizzerias. I usually go to Maria's because they have great slices that are huge. Yorktown Pizza and Pasta also makes great pizza and they do a lot for the Yorktown community.
What advice would you give to a young basketball player growing up in Yorktown?
I would say to focus on your game and work hard. You can always be a better ball handler, shooter, passer or rebounder. Break down the game in your mind; understanding the game is a huge advantage. But above all, I'd say make sure you are enjoying it. It's a wonderful game, so enjoy competing.