Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with Kevin Obochi, Highland Park swimming
Kevin Obochi is a senior swimmer for the Giants. At the state finals, Obochi collected four medals, including a state championship in the 50-yard freestyle. He will swim for Columbia University next year.
1. Do you have any prerace or premeet rituals?
Usually the night before, I have my mom’s pasta and meat sauce and make sure to go to bed super early — 8:30 or 9 within that range.
2. Why Columbia?
Obviously they have a great swim team. And my parents always stress the importance of a great education. I wanted a great education and athletic experience. And it’s in New York City, and I wanted to branch out and meet new people.
3. When did you begin swimming competitively?
I joined my local club when I was about 5 years old. At first, I was kind of forced into it by parents. They made me pick a sport. I was doing karate, soccer and tennis at the time. So I chose the one that was the best. What sucked me into it was I met this group of guys. We’ve all just been swimming together up until now. It’s great to swim with a group of friends.
4. What is your favorite thing to do outside the pool?
Probably just hang out with friends. Play basketball, too.
5. What is your dream job?
Probably working in the clothing industry, be a designer for Nike, Adidas or something. I just have a passion for design and clothes. I have my own brand (Eek clothing). I have always been a creative kid and entrepreneurial.
6. If you were to try another sport, what would it be?
Definitely basketball, if I’m good enough to get on the team. I’ve just been a fan of basketball since I was young but never really got to play.
7. Who is your favorite athlete?
Defintely LeBron James (NBA—Los Angeles Lakers). Me and my brother have been huge fans of him ever since first grade. He’s been a big inspiration.
8. If you’re in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?
I’d get some Hot Tamales and some Trident cinnamon gum.
9. What is something people don’t know about you?
Most people don’t know I was actually born in Canada. I was born in Vancouver and moved to Chicago when I was 2.
10. How would you describe your senior year?
Swimming at Highland Park High School has just been a wonderful experience. It’s just been great to swim with people you’ve known basically your entire life and swim at high level with a great coach (Tim Sirois)
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319