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Palisade Paw Post

Palisade Paw Post

Male Athlete of the Week: LJ Ballenger

LJ+Ballenger+up+at+the+line+during+a+free+throw.+Photo+provided+by+LJ.
LJ Ballenger up at the line during a free throw. Photo provided by LJ.

Palisade Junior, LJ Ballenger, is the male Athlete of the Week brought to you by Palisade Dino Mart. Ballenger is a basketball player and has been playing roughly since third grade. His competitiveness towards the sport didn’t become that serious until he entered middle school. “I was watching it when I was little and I was always gravitated towards my favorite player (Westbrook) and so I was like ‘I have to play,’” said Ballenger. This year, Ballenger is a starter on varsity and plays guard, where every now and then he will fill in at the forward. Ballenger is a role model on the court to the other players as he puts forth effort and dedication into his sport and his teammates. “This is my second year running captain,” said Ballenger. “One of the bigger things is the leadership I bring, which I think helps us stay together.” 

Over the years, Ballenger has really come to love basketball, but just the sport itself isn’t the only thing that attracts him to it. “My favorite thing about basketball are the relationships you build. It makes everything feel different when you are playing with your friends.” One of these close relationships he has built is with his head coach, Coach Cory Hitchcock. “He has changed my perspective about a lot of things sports wise and just about life in general.” Ballenger has also been impacted this way by his parents as well. This is an impact that has inspired Ballenger to love the sport even more. Ballenger’s experience throughout the years has taught him so much. “When you truly enjoy something, don’t give in when it gets tough. Stick it through and then decide if you want to keep going forward with it.” Ballenger’s love, dedication, and hard work towards the sport creates an ambition for younger, and even older players to become better at the sport, as well as his role on the team and for his teammates. Congratulations LJ, on athlete of the week!

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About the Contributor
Joey Smith, Advertising Editor
Hey guys! My name is Joey and I am a Junior this year. This is my third year being a part of the Palisade Paw Post and my second year being advertising editor. A little bit about myself is that I love to be outside, either paddleboarding, hiking, or enjoying the sunset. I also teach and play tennis. My number one goal in life is to devote myself more and more to our Lord Jesus Christ. I am excited for another great year in the Palisade Paw Post!
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