SHRUB OAK, N.Y. – Senior captain Augie Karaqi led the Lakeland boys basketball team to a 17-5 record and a first-round playoff win the Section 1 Class A tournament, the Hornets’ first postseason victory in more than a decade.
Karaqi averaged more than 19 points, 3 rebounds and 3 rebounds per game on his way to being named All-Section.
Tell us about your athletic experience (what sports you play, honors you have earned, etc.)
I played both soccer and basketball as long as I can remember but soccer took a break until my senior year where I wanted to play with younger brother, Sonny, who as a freshman played varsity. I won All-League in soccer after playing only a season after so many years, so that was a great accomplishment.
On the other hand, basketball was my favorite sport. I played CYO and AAU, where I made many friends, some that I continued to play until my very last high school game. I had an amazing varsity season where I was honored with the All-Section title. Many people doubted me but the stats didn’t lie.
What is your favorite memory from your time on the team?
My favorite memory while on the team is when we took back the trophy from Panas during the Giglio games.
How old were you when you started playing hockey and what got you started?
I started playing basketball competitively around 9 years old. I played CYO and started to play AAU also.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
My biggest role model over the years has always been my dad. He was athletic when he was young so he is my eyes on the sidelines. I trust his opinions because he knows the game. My dad taught me to never give up and always have a killer mentality on the court.
How do you get prepared for game? Do you listen to any music? If so, what kind?
I prepare for a game by getting in the gym before game time and getting shots up. I like to listen to rap music to get me pumped up.
Will you be attending college? If so, where and what will you study?
I’m undecided so I will do my prerequisite courses at Westchester Community College then transfer.
Will you continue to play sports beyond high school?
I will continue to play basketball beyond high school. I’m a part of a men’s league in Ardsley called ABI and I will also play in college, hopefully.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
If I could have one superpower it would be to fly, then maybe I could throw down a dunk.
What is something about yourself people would be surprised to learn?
I’m a really good dancer and I was an altar boy for seven years, right up until my junior year in high school.
What is your favorite place to visit on vacation and why?
Ocean City, Md., because they have a really nice boardwalk and a beach right next to it.
What is your favorite place to eat locally?
My favorite place to eat locally is Top.
What’s the go-to app on your phone and why?
Instagram because I like to watch a lot of basketball videos and memes.
For a young athlete growing up in the Lakeland school district, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the basketball team and why should they go out for it?
My experience of growing up in this district and being a part of the Lakeland basketball team was a positive one. I recommend anyone to join a team. You become like family because you spend so much time together. You learn to trust your teammates both on and off the court. You develop relationships that can go beyond your high school years