Featured Athlete of the Week: Wes Lesko, South Putnam
Wes Lesko is a senior basketball player at South Putnam.
Banner Graphic: How long have you been playing basketball, and how many other sports did you play?
Wes Lesko: “When I was younger, I played football and baseball but when I got into high school I just stayed with basketball. It’s been fun. I love playing basketball. I have been big since I was in kindergarten, so I’ve been a big guy banging around the basket. When I was in elementary school, I asked in the last game if I could play point guard. They let me on one possession, and it didn’t work out too well. So from then on I stayed in the post.”
BG: What do you think you have learned from playing basketball?
WL: “I would say I have definitely learned patience and teamwork. Not everything is going to happen in the beginning and you have to work hard to get to the end goal. It’s a big time commitment. This summer I didn’t have any time off between AAU and the high school team. It’s gone pretty well. I feel I have progressed every year. My freshman year, I didn’t know how to do a single post move; now I have a variety of post moves that I can do.”
BG: Your team has won more games already than it did all of last year. How do you think this season will go?
WL: “This year we’ve done pretty well. Last year, we were considered a young team and now we have more experience. We didn’t have any seniors last year, and we have basically the same group as then. It’s kind of weird being the only senior on the team. I remember in middle school everybody wanted to play basketball then, and just slowly people started leaving. I have a great group of guys to play with.”
BG: And you get all the attention on Senior Night....
WL: “I always joke around that it should be just about me, but we honor the girls’ basketball players, swimmers and wrestlers on the same night.”
BG: What else do you do in your spare time besides play basketball?
WL: “I’m in 4-H, and I show beef cattle. Some years I come home with a banner, and others I don’t. It’s a lot of fun. They look to see if it’s ready to go to the butcher or not, and if it’s an animal they would want to have in their fields. I have learned patience from working with them. I’m probably one of the laziest people about working with them. My mom especially gets mad at me. Two years ago, I didn’t start working with them until June. Actually, she won. It was pretty amazing. I’ll be doing it this year for the last time, but I will only be a nine-year member because I didn’t do it the first year I could have.”
BG: What kinds of things do you like to do outside of school?
WL: “I like to play NBA 2K a lot. I listen to country music, and I like to watch college basketball on TV. I don’t have a favorite team, but I like to watch Big Ten games. I like movies like ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Jurassic World’. Those are some of my favorites.”
BG: What is something you have never done before that you would like to do someday?
WL: “Go to Scotland. I’ve watched videos on YouTube, and it looks pretty amazing. I’d like to visit there and check it out.”
BG: What is your greatest fear?
WL: “Until we got a barn cat, we had a lot of mice running around in the barn when you’d be scooping grain. I hated that.”
BG: What are you favorite and least favorite foods?
WL: “My favorite would be pizza, and my least favorite would be shrimp or any kind of seafood.”
BG: What are you’re plans for after high school?
WL: “I would like to get into the ASAP program at Ivy Tech in Greencastle, and get my associate’s degree in less than a year. I don’t really know what I want to do yet, but they help you to go on to your next college.”
BG: What is your favorite class in school?
WL: “I like math. Especially last year, when I was in Algebra II and we would work out the problems. I liked being able to come up with the right answer at the end. That always felt cool.”
BG: If you were to describe your personality in one word, what would that word be?
WL: “Quiet. I’ve always been the kid who never said very much. Someone has to start a conversation with me before I start talking to them. My teachers always liked that.”
BG: Have any certain teachers helped you to get where you are?
WL: “Mr. [Kevin] Metz, my advanced physical education teacher, has really helped me a lot. He’s really helped me in the weight room. My sophomore year, I could barely bench-press 95 pounds but I have increased that a lot.”
BG: Summarize your overall South Putnam experience.
WL: “I’m obviously going to miss it. The school and the teachers have been great.”
BG: When you’re older, have you thought about if you want to live around Putnam County or do you have plans to go live somewhere farther away?
WL: “It will probably depend upon what job I have. I like it around here. I definitely don’t like big cities. I visited Chicago once and I didn’t like that at all.
BG: Do you have any certain goals you want to achieve by the end of the year?
WL: “I’d love for us to win county and the sectional. I’ve never been able to cut a net down, and that would be cool to get to do it in my senior year. With the calves, I’d like to be successful with them and get top five.”