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Athlete of the Week: L.J. Hackley

He may be a sophomore, but L.J. Hackley is already establishing quite a name for himself as a point guard for the Eastern View High School boys basketball team.

Last year Hackley, as a freshman, was nominated for Culpeper Times “Athlete of the Week” by Donald O'Meara, then the coach of the Cyclones.
This week Hackley received the nod from his new coach, George Bowles.

“He's a smart kid and a great shooter,” said Bowles following a big recent win over James Monroe High School in which Hackley played a key role. “He does the fundamental things well. He has a real basketball IQ and it probably helps that he also has a strong support system at home.”

Hackley said his season didn't start as strongly as he would have preferred.

“I was kind of shaky the first few games, but I'm getting back in the groove,” he said. “I've improved my ball handling this year and my jump shot has gotten a lot better."

If he continues to improve at the rate he has been, he will be one of the players to watch in the Battlefield District through 2015.

Hackley said he began playing basketball at age 7 and he has always been a guard.

Off the court, Hackley enjoys his English class and he said he tries to assist in the community when he can.

“I helped with a food drive for Christmas,” he said of his most recent contribution.

Although he has a couple of years before a college decision is on his plate, Hackley has already begun thinking ahead.

“Right now I'm leaning toward Virginia Commonwealth University or possibly James Madison,” he said.

Hackley said he enjoys playing video games and that “Call of Duty” is his favorite.

NOTE: Culpeper County High School coach James Thompson does not nominate players for “Athlete of the Week,” but he did mention two who he feels have contributed to a fast 8-2 start for the Blue Devils.

“I would like to mention our seniors, Nik Stewart and Anthony Banks,” Thompson said. “Nik has hit 30 points twice this season and is averaging in the low 20s and Anthony is averaging a double-double for points and rebounds. At 6-foot-2 he is our leading shot blocker and rebounder.
“With their maturity and experience I expected them to do well this year and I know they have goals they want to reach.”

Thompson said the Blue Devils may have “overachieved” a little so far.

“We come out every game, though, and try to find different ways to win,” he said. “We have done well on some early season 'pop quizzes.' We'll see how we do when we start taking our tests (in Battlefield District play).”

Ray Finefrock is a staff writer for Culpeper Times. E-mail Finefrock at: rfinefrock@timespapers.com
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