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Sarasota Athlete of the Week: Jakai Peterson

The Booker High girls basketball player scored 32 points Feb. 3 in a 63-42 win over Avon Park High.

Booker High girls basketball junior Jakai Peterson.
Booker High girls basketball junior Jakai Peterson.
Photo by Ryan Kohn
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Jakai Peterson is a junior guard on the Booker High girls basketball team. Peterson scored 32 points Feb. 3. in the Tornadoes' 63-42 win over Avon Park High. 

When did you start playing basketball?

I started for real in sixth grade. I played a little AAU ball before then but I didn't take it seriously. Sixth grade was when I got serious. I found out that I could actually be good at it. 

What is the appeal to you?

It builds my confidence. When I first started playing I was not as high on myself, but the more I play the more confidence I get and the more I get into the game. 

What is your best skill?

Well, I also run track and field, so my speed helps me get up and down the court and finish at the basketball in transition. 

What have you been working to improve?

I have been working on my jump shot a lot. My coaches always tell me I have a nice shot, but I need to use it more, so I'm actually trying to take more shots this year. 

What is your favorite memory?

Winning the district championship last year was cool. That win helped the team come together. Everybody was so happy we won. It helped us a lot going forward. (The Tornadoes reached the state semifinals last season.) 

What does the team need to do this season to have playoff success?

We need to come together more. We're tight as a team and during games we focus, but during practice, we have to be better. We need to be more of a team in that way. 

What is your favorite food?

I love chicken and noodles. 

What is your favorite subject?

I like math. I don't know why. It just is easier for me than other subjects. 

What is your favorite TV show?

I don't know if I have one favorite. I like crime shows like "Law and Order," and I like "Grey's Anatomy." 

Which superpower would you pick?

I would want super strength so I could move things around however I wanted. 

What is the best advice you have received?

My grandfather (Johnnie Sloan) always says to remember who you are and remember whose you are. That sticks with me. No matter what happens, you are always you. Don't let anyone change that. 

Finish this sentence: "Jakai Peterson is …"

… Goofy, once you get to know me. But I'm shy at first. 



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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