Ely Times Staff Writer
Seth Lester thought he was going to grow up to be a football player. As a naturally bigger kid, he figured he could use his body type to his advantage in a game where bigger is usually better.
Ready to get going at an early age, Lester was disappointed to find out his only choices for youth sports were soccer or basketball.
“Initially I just wanted to play football as a kid because I was a bit bigger as a kid. But we don’t have any bringing up programs except for basketball and soccer, and I was horrible at soccer,” Lester said.
So in the fourth grade Lester began to play basketball. What surprised him was how much he grew to love the game. He realized the strategy behind the plays, how he could use his size to get in better position under the hoop. He liked the mental game.
“I like basketball because it’s not just pure athleticism, it is something you have to work at your whole life,” Lester said. “There is a knowledge to it, there is a savvy.”
In middle school, Lester met the coach and the players he would end up playing basketball with all the way until his senior year. Coach Paul Johnson, who now coaches Lester at White Pine High School, says he has watched him grow into someone the team can look up to.
“He has become a vocal leader in the program, and he has become someone who leads by example,” Johnson said.
Now in his senior year, Lester wants to make an impact and take his team somewhere they haven’t been in over a half-century.
“Our high school hasn’t won a state championship in 65 years, we want to be the ones to change that, we want to set that legacy and be the one of the kids they make movies about,” Lester said.
Whether or not the team makes it to the championship, Lester still says playing basketball for White Pine High School for the last four years has been “the greatest time of my life.”
Johnson says he’s watched Lester develop into a “great young man” and his future should be bright in more than just basketball.
“The measure of his quality doesn’t necessarily have to be on the basketball court, its going to be the character and the quality of who he is and he is headed in the right direction.”