IC Catholic Prep
Cheng, a senior guard committed to Denison University, scored 17 points to lead the Knights past Montini in the championship of the ICCP/Westmont Christmas Tournament. Cheng followed that up with 23 points on Jan. 5 against St. Patrick.
Cheng, the Suburban Life Athlete of the Week sponsored by Gracik Makinney, spoke with sports editor Joshua Welge about the season. Here's an edited transcript:
Welge: How do you feel about where the team is at right now?
Cheng: I think we are meshing at the right time. We struggled early on, kind of feeling each other out. I feel like the St. Patrick game was a game we should have won. We lost our way a little, but coming out of it I still feel great with where we are headed.
Welge: How big of a deal was it to win your tournament?
Cheng: It was pretty big. We hadn't won it in a couple years. When we didn't win it last year I was very disappointed; I remember that day like it was yesterday, it was a bitter loss. I had that tournament marked on my calendar for a while.
Welge: You had a nice game against St. Patrick at the free-throw line (12-for-16). Is that a part of your game that you take pride in?
Chenge: It's a big focus, especially that game. It's just a matter of being aware. Late in the game I want to try to get to that free-throw line.
Welge: Coach mentioned that you're a vocal leader. What does that involve?
Chenge: I guess just being conscious of yourself, and being able to say things that aren't necessarily comfortable. Being a leader is being able to go outside of your comfort zone, being conscious of what you are doing and pushing yourself, always considering different viewpoints.
Welge: You're the youngest of five siblings. Did you all play sports?
Chenge: Yes. My sister is the oldest, she ran track and played volleyball. Three of my older brothers played basketball.
Welge: What's being the youngest like?
Chenge: You have to deal with getting picked on a little, but it's helped out a lot. Physically it's helped me deal with guys being bigger than me, maturing and being mentally tough.
Welge: Was basketball always your sport?
Cheng: I guess in grade school football was always my favorite. Around eighth grade I hadn't really grown yet, and everybody was getting bigger. I thought maybe football wasn't the sport for me. Around that time I started to become passionate about playing basketball.
Welge: What's your toughest class?
Cheng: Right now it's AP Calculus.
Welge: Favorite movie?
Cheng: My all-time favorite is Remember the Titans.
Welge: Favorite TV show?
Cheng: The Office. I watch a lot on Netflix.
Welge: Favorite athlete?
Cheng: The athlete I always loved was [former Celtics and Bulls guard] Rajon Rondo. Watching him play was always fun.
Welge: What's left to accomplish this year?
Cheng: Our main team is goal is winning conference. We kind of dug ourselves a hole but I think it's an attainable goal. We just have to win out and Riverside-Brookfield has to lose one.