Boys Basketball Student Highlight: Semaj Blocker


Precious Vasquez

Sophomore Semaj Blocker, starting shooting guard on varsity at Oak Hills High School, has been working on his shooting skills for his preseason games. Excited for his upcoming season he is wearing his new Oak Hills gear.

Semaj Blocker is a sophomore here at Oak Hills High School and plays for the Boys Varsity basketball team. Semaj joined the basketball team during his freshman year and played on JV, but as time went on, the varsity coach noticed his proficiency in the sport and placed him on the varsity team. What the coach saw in him was that he always got his teammates involved. Semaj’s stepdad has had a huge influence on his love for basketball. He started playing when he was five but started to play on a more serious note when he was 12.

“My season-high I believe is either 17 or 18.”

Playing basketball at a high level is very hard for some people and requires a positive attitude. Semaj had thought of quitting basketball last year because he thought he wasn’t performing on an adequate level. If you’re a basketball player, you have to have a favorite player so that when your in-game you can do their moves and look up to them, Semaj’s favorite player is Russell Westbrook for the Houston Rockets. The reason why Russell is his favorite player is that Westbrook plays with such energy and aggression for the game. A very memorable part of being a basketball player is when you dunk for the first time. The first time that Semaj had dunked was in the 8th grade.

Something that almost all players do is a game routine. For Semaj, his routine is listening to music and praying that nothing bad goes his way. For basketball players, they need to wear certain shoes, whether it is Kobe’s, Kyrie’s KD or Lebron shoes; but for Semaj, as long it’s any kind of Nikes, he doesn’t care what he wears. He usually changes his shoes every game he plays. He likes to play in Kobe’s, Kyries and Paul George’s shoes.

He grew up rooting for the Lakers and watching Kobe Bryant because he grew up in Pomona and it was close to Los Angeles. A lot of people have a different mentality when they play. Some have the mentality to be the best, and some just want to be average.

He believes he got his mentality from Kobe. “I got it from Kobe and the way I grew up.”

One thing that Semaj would love to work on the most is his confidence. For any player, confidence is key to being a great player. His favorite moment wasn’t a dunk or game-winner. It was when they told him a college coach was interested in him.

“One of my coaches told me there was a college coach interested me, I was very excited.”  Semaj’s goal is to go to a Division 1 school (D1) it is the highest that you can play for college ball. “I plan to go to any D1 school with a scholarship”. 

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