Published on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 by Erin Garcia
As the referee tosses the basketball into the air, the mood set in every player intensifies. Those quick seconds feel like hours while the ball spins, leaving the players fighting for control on the court. This scenario is all too familiar for viking senior AJ Pulliam, whose love for the game has remained strong for many years.
With Pulliam’s years of experience around basketball, he’s come to realize that he hopes to continue playing the game past high school.
“I played over the summer on a tournament team and I did really well,” Pulliam said. “So I just thought I should try and continue for college so that I could get a scholarship.”
Pulliam has been around the game since the age of twelve and throughout his years of playing basketball, one moment in particular surpassed the others.
“My sophomore year we went far in the playoffs,” Pulliam said. “I felt great. I felt like we competed as far as we could and gave our best that year compared to our potential the year before.”
Pulliam says that everyone on the team plays their hardest and gives 110% when they play on the court.
“We don’t have bad guys on our team, so there’s really no need for an outstanding leader,” Pulliam said.
Many key factors must be present to motivate and draw a team together, including camaraderie, good-fellowship, has taken the lead.
“It’s 90% of the teams success,” Pulliam said. “With all the talent in the world, a team with no camaraderie isn’t going to go anywhere.”
When it comes to being a role model on the team, Pulliam lives up to the title by motivating and influencing those around him positively.
“He’s an athletic player, has a good personality, and is a good student,” fellow teammate sophomore Quaylon Newton said. “He works hard in class and encourages me to be a good student.”
Teammates and coaches believe that Pulliam will be successful with any path he chooses, whether that means furthering his passion for basketball or prospering in any other field.
“AJ is a big, strong young man,” basketball coach Christopher Jones said. “He’s highly talented and skilled, and I think AJ can do whatever he wants to do. Not only in basketball, but in other areas of life as well.”
Pulliam continues to strive for excellence and has left a positive legacy behind him, and is going beyond expectations by showing his elders and peers how a true athlete can perform well in the classroom and on the court.
“He’s one of the better students here on campus and he’s a bright young man [that is] well liked,” Jones said. “He is a model student on campus and a model young man, and I think everyone should look up to him. He is definitely living up to his role.”