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Record Athlete of the Week: Lily Fernandez, Plano sophomore, basketball

Lily Fernandez
Lily Fernandez

Why she was selected:

Fernandez, a sophomore guard, scored 24 points in a 61-54 overtime loss to Herscher, then had 12 points and 12 rebounds in Plano's 44-28 win over Somonauk.

Fernandez, who recently joined Plano's starting lineup, has enjoyed a strong few weeks. She was named All-Tournament at Amboy, averaging 14.8 points over four games, and for the season is averaging 10.6 points. She talked with Record sports editor Joshua Welge about her season. Here is an edited version of the transcript:

Welge: Was 24 points a season-high? How'd you do it?

Fernandez: It was [a season-high]. It was mostly my teammates. They help me out a lot. We work really well together. They kept passing me the ball and I just shot it.

Welge: You've been on a good run lately. What's been the key to your success?

Fernandez: It's me working outside of practice. I did travel basketball during the summer with the Wildcats out of Rockford. They helped me a lot with my leadership and confidence.

Welge: How has the team adapted to playing without MaKayli [Vann, out for the season with a shoulder injury]?

Fernandez: I honestly think it's still going good. It's different, but we are still playing fast like we normally do. Her sister [MaKenzie] is a good role model for us. She's holding the team together.

Welge: How is your second year on varsity different?

Fernandez: I think things have improved. I still mess up here and there, but I don't let that hold me down. I ask the coaches what I need to work on and that's what I focus on.

Welge: What's it like playing your team's fast-placed style?

Fernandez: Honestly, my first time on varsity last year, it was different. Now I like it a lot. I'm used to it. It throws off the other teams. They get tired easily.

Welge: Do you watch basketball? Do you have any role models?

Fernandez: I like to watch some of it, but I haven't been watching the NBA as much. I would say I like [Boston Celtics guard] Kyrie Irving. He can handle the ball so well. I want to be like that. And of course [Golden State Warriors guard] Steph Curry. They're both great role models.

Welge: What do you do when you're not playing basketball?

Fernandez: I like to help out around the house. I'm a selfless person. I'll gladly help other people. I'm big into school, too. I like to stay on top of it.

Welge: What's your favorite subject?

Fernandez: History.

Welge: What's the last book you read?

Fernandez: "The Joy Luck Club."

Welge: Do you have a pregame ritual?

Fernandez: I like to shoot about 10 free throws. That warms me up. And I'll practice my ballhandling.

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