AISB’s 12th grade varsity basketball captain, Deniz A. enters the court with an immense love and passion for the game, while also maintaining his academic life and goals for the future.

What follows is Deniz’s story, in his own words: 

“I play basketball. I’ve learned that it is really important to be respectful of everyone on the team, especially as a captain. And sometimes it’s hard to guide everyone at once using the same strategies, so you really need to cater to what people respond to. So, like, with someone maybe being more assertive you can help them do better; but with some other players you have to be kind to them, explain to them how something works and, generally, communication is really important, so I’ve gotten better at that, and I am still trying to get better.”

‘Mr. Arif’ [Akhundov] emphasizes that athletes must be professional and locked in—focused—and the captains of the team must lead by example, being professional and not letting emotions undermine our game is crucial.

I’m proud of the design work that I do for the school. I designed the sports trophy display in the gym; I’m really proud of that. I designed the T-shirts for CEESA, which I’m proud of, and I’m also proud of being on the basketball team: I love playing basketball and being with my team.

I collaborated [on the trophy case design] with Mr. Alex [Sota], mainly inquiring about his vision and what he wanted [it] to look like. And I used his descriptions and specifications to create a product that suited his vision.

I’m very passionate about design, and, after university, I would like to mix design and engineering in some form, which is why I picked classes that cater to both. I picked design ’cause I love design, but I also picked math and physics to help me in the future for my profession.”