The NBA lockout is still going on, WHACK! But basketball will still be going down in Orlando. The UCF Knights kicked off the season on Nov 5th against West VA Tech!
Now, AJ isn't just a UCF basketball player, he is one of the most positive people I have ever encountered! His twitter account is a must follow (@A3Rompza) filled with positive anecdotes, tweets of determination and of course some comical relief but the boys got skills! If you haven't seen this its a must watch! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYjOScGcGps
In a sports world filled with cocky players, players getting arrested or doing anything other then playing the game they love, it was refreshing to come across such a young, vibrant, and talented player with such a positive outlook on life and a true love for the game. He nevers takes a day for granted and reminded me to do the same, AJ thank you for your inspiration! GO KNIGHTS!
Briefly take us on the journey through your sports career and and fill us in on how you ended up where you are today.
Basketball has always been apart of my life since age three. My brother had me playing at such a young age and it was something that I enjoyed so much that I didnt want to stop playing. Basketball has been my get away from bad things. It kept me out of trouble and it helped me focus on my goals in life. I played on organized teams since the age of eight. When I was in 5th grade I played up on the eight grade team. After that I attended Whitney Young high school which is one of the top high schools in the country not only for athletics but academics. I wanted to go some where that I could get the best of both worlds. After high school I decided to attend the University of Central Florida where I am currently playing basketball now. Like I said basketball has been apart of me since such a young age and it has helped me get an education at the same time.
Tell us about your goals off of the court and how they apply to your basketball career.
My goals off the court are pretty simple. Its just like basketball for me I always want to be successful in every single thing I do. In school I have a 3.5 gpa because I understand how important school is. I also have a book that I finished that I can sell once Im done with basketball in college. In everything I do I want to be able to do it to the best of my ability and I want to be successful at it. If you put your heart into it then it will work for you.
Who inspires you?
My family always inspires me in everything I do but the most important person is my mother. Everything I do I have her in the back on my head.
What are you feelings on the female sports fan?
I dont think there are enough female sports fans out there. I feel like if your a sports fan period then you should enjoy female sports just as much as male sports. Women work just as hard as men do to be successful at there sport so why not show appreciation.
Have you noticed an increase in interest from female fans since you began your journey to your current time? Such as females playing sports, female reporters, attending events and speaking to sports off the court/field.
Yes, I have seen a huge increase in interest from female fans. I have seen a huge increase in female fans watching more of the WNBA. The games have a lot more people there and you hear a lot more about it then you did before. Also, you see a lot more female reporters now then you did before. That makes females more interested in sports because now they see that women are getting more attention from others around them. Its also a great look for females because people get tired of just having male reporters.
Do you think there is a negative ring that automatically lies around females working or playing within the sports industry since it’s male dominated?
I dont think there is any negative ring around females working or playing within the sports industry since its male dominated. I think over time women more people will get interested in female sports. I have already seen a huge increase it just a couple of years.
Favorite personal and or general sports moment? My favorite personal sports moment was probably last year when I hit the game winning shot vs Southern Miss. It was huge for me because I had been dealing with an injury in my foot and I had to sit out a couple of games. We started out the season 16 and 0 and then we lost 8 straight. It was such a learning expierence for me. I learned a lot about people and about everything. I didnt keep my head down I just kept fighting.
Favorite sports quote?
'I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.' -Michael Jordan
Advice for athletes chasing their sports dreams?
Never give up when your trying to chase your dreams. There will always be people telling you that you cant do something but you cant listen to it. Continue to work hard and dont stop until you reach your dreams. Anything is Possible.