A star is born

Brian Aka is an elite player on the McLean boys varsity team


Adam Ayalew

WARMUP LAYUPS — Brian Aka warming up for his game against Washington Lee. He went on to score 28 that night.

Matthew Zarkani, Reporter

On a basketball court in McLean, Virginia, the sound of shoes squeaking and the smell of hardwood fill the room. Hard work is taking place. All that can be heard is the sound of a basketball hitting the rim, and being dribbled. One man decides to devote all his time to the game.

Meet Senior, Brian Aka, 18-year-old basketball phenom, and one of the stars McLean boys varsity team. He stands out more than any other player because of his unique and versatile skill set, all of which are credited to his insane work ethic.
Aka started playing organized basketball at a young age.

“I started playing organized basketball in the sixth grade, it was a big transition because up till that point I played soccer,” Aka said.
Aka began to realize he had some talent.

“In seventh grade, I saw I was able to take the ball to the basket a lot, and I could out-jump everyone with my athleticism.” Aka said. While certainly an athlete, he more importantly, was very motivated, and worked very hard. In the McLean basketball program, players must attend practice 6 days a week for at least two hours. The only days off were Sundays, and on rare occasions, if they had some sort of holiday or snow day. What does Brian do over these days off?

“Any opportunity he gets, he will always work on his craft,” said Michaela Aka, Brian’s sister.

“In seventh and eighth grade, I played select basketball, and I was relatively new to the sport,” Aka said. He had natural talent, that allowed him to play club basketball, with little experience.

“I started playing varsity when I was a sophomore,” Aka said.

Today, Aka is a starter, and captain of the Boys Varsity basketball team, and a three year varsity basketball player.

Additionally Brian plays for many of the top club basketball teams in all of Virginia.
Brian is a key aspect towards the team.

“During junior year, I really fit into a role on the team, and became an elite player,” Aka said.

“Brian is a great leader for the team, he does all the little things right, and we can count on him under any circumstances,” said senior Tucker Leggett, Aka’s varsity teammate.

“I don’t see myself playing college ball, I just want to enjoy my last year as a senior, basketball has been an escape for me to drain me of tough times, I see myself looking at basketball as my solution to adversity,” Aka said.