Keandre Swopes entered West Morgan’s gymnasium before practice with an easy smile on his face.
Only a freshman, Swopes already is putting up significant numbers for the Rebels. On Monday, Swopes added a double-double, with 12 points and 10 rebounds to take the win over Priceville. He averages seven points, seven rebounds and three blocks a game.
For coach Mike Henson, this is no surprise. Henson began working with Swopes in middle school, and encouraged him to keep growing as a player, Swopes explained Monday.
A consistent force for West Morgan all season, Decatur Daily sportswriter Meredith Qualls sat down with Swopes for 10 questions:
Question: As a freshman, what was it like playing your first varsity game?
Answer: It was East Lawrence. I was really nervous. Just jitter bugs before the game, and when we warmed up, I was anxious to play.
Q: After working with Coach Henson, is there anything he does that he wouldn’t want anyone to know?
A: Coach Henson, when he gets into the game he gets pretty intense. Anything he does is pretty funny. He’s got his own little dance.
Q: Where are you most comfortable on the court?
A: My defense. I really didn’t like defense, and then Coach Henson, it’s the No. 1 thing for him, so I just started getting better at it, working on anything I can do for defense, trying to guard the best player or anything I can do to get better.
Q: Did you do anything specific to work on that?
A: I always did jumping drills to get better for when I dunk or block shots. I love blocking shots. It’s probably my favorite thing in the game besides dunking. I love that feeling you get when you block someone’s shot.
Q: People talk a lot about Brandon Roberts. What’s it like playing with him?
A: He’s a great guy. He handles himself so well on the court, because he hears a lot of negative stuff in the crowd. I know that some people get to him, but he handles himself. He always stays calm. He tries to motivate us. He’s a team player. What more could you ask? He plays every game like it’s his last.
Q: With the Super Bowl last Sunday, who were you rooting for?
A: I was for the Ravens. I was a little nervous when the 49ers started coming back. The power outage, I think that was one of the reasons.
Q: If you were at the mall and had $50 bucks to spend, what would you spend it on?
A: Anything with Nike.
Q: Do you have a favorite college basketball team?
Q: Do you play any other sports?
A: Track. I do the 100 meter, the high jump and the long jump.
Q: Is there any sport you’d like to try that you haven’t played before?
A: Probably baseball, because it seems like another good sport to play. A lot of teammates play baseball.
Contact Meredith Qualls at 256-340-2395 or by email at email@example.com.
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