Basketball

Northwest Herald Athletes of the Week for Dec. 29-Jan. 4

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

Lauren Shafer, Harvard, girls basketball

Shafer scored a career-high 18 points as the Hornets beat North Boone, 40-36, on Dec. 30. Shafer, a senior, was voted Northwest Herald Female Athlete of the Week for her performance.

The Hornets added wins over Round Lake and Willows Academy this week. Harvard (10-9) has already doubled its wins (5) over the past four seasons combined.

Shafer answered some questions from sports writer Alex Kantecki about her team's abrupt turnaround and more.

What do you remember most about your performance (career-high 18 points) against North Boone last week?

Shafer: I wouldn't have been able to score those 18 points without the help of my teammates. It was a very physical game and North Boone was in foul trouble very early. My teammates were able to find me, and I started driving hard and taking open shots.

What would be your walk-up song for softball?

Shafer: "The Show Goes On," by Lupe Fiasco

What's been the most memorable moment of your season so far?

Shafer: Reaching 10 wins so far this season. That hasn't happened for many years in the girls basketball program at Harvard. To achieve that with my senior teammates who I've played with since seventh grade is pretty special. And to experience it with one of my sisters (Lindsey) is also special to me. We aren't finished yet. We have some other goals we want to accomplish, but this season will definitely be remembered for years to come.  

Do you have any superstitions or pregame rituals?

Shafer: I listen to the same music playlist I've had since my freshman year. It really helps me focus and get into game mode.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, who would it be?

Shafer: Walt Disney.

What food can you just not stand to eat?

Shafer: Sloppy Joes. Yuck!

What is your dream job?

Shafer: Special education teacher.

What form of social media do you use most often?

Shafer: Definitely Snapchat, but I'm getting better at Twitter.

What would you do with a million dollars?

Shafer: I would use it to pay for college, I would invest some, give some to charity, and probably buy a house and car.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Shafer: I know all of the lyrics and can recite lines and scenes from the three "High School Musical" movies.

MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

Nick Erickson, Hampshire, boys basketball

Erickson scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, had four assists and blocked two shots as the Whip-Purs beat Palatine, 55-40, on Jan. 4 for their 11th consecutive victory.

Erickson, a 6-foot-7 senior forward, was voted as Northwest Herald Male Athlete of the Week for his performance.

While he goes about helping the Whips to one of their most successful seasons and looks at prospective colleges, he answered a few questions from Northwest Herald sports writer Joe Stevenson.

What do you remember most about your performance last Saturday against Palatine?

Erickson: It was how well we played on the defensive end.

Is it hard to shop for pants when you’re 6-7?

Erickson: Absolutely, being 6-7 and skinny, it is not easy to shop for pants. Thankfully, some brands have some tall options.

What sport that you don’t play would you be good at?

Erickson: I think I’d be a really good golfer had I not chosen to play basketball at a competitive level. But with my height, at a young age, basketball was a no-brainer.

What would be your dream job?

Erickson: I would like to be the general manager of an NBA franchise.

Who’s the most famous person you have taken a picture with?

Erickson: Joakim Noah.

If you scored a touchdown, how would you celebrate with your teammates?

Erickson: I’d have some teammates act like we were rowing a boat together.

What sports moment was so huge that you’ll always remember where you were when it happened?

Erickson: I’ll always remember LeBron James’ block on Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, and Kyrie Irving’s 3-pointer right after that to win it for the Cavaliers. I was scrambling to watch it in a hotel room at the time.

Is there any significance to wearing No. 35?

Erickson: A lot of people think it’s for Kevin Durant, but honestly it was just the number I was given in fourth grade basketball, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.

What is your favorite wild animal?

Erickson: Tigers. They’re at the top of the food chain and aren’t scared of anything.

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