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Athlete Profile: Theo Antinori '23

Theo Antinori is a junior guard from Asheville, North Carolina.  He was one of the starters and top scorers for the boys varsity basketball team.  This season, Theo averaged 10 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals per game. 

How long have you been playing basketball? Are there other teams that you play for? 
I have been playing basketball for as long as I can remember.  My dad played basketball and got my older brothers interested in playing.  As soon as I could walk we already had basketball hoops inside and outside.  This summer I played for Team Swish.  It is an AAU team that plays tournaments all over the South. 
 
What position do you play?
I play point guard/shooting guard.  On our team, we have a lot of guys who can dribble and shoot so it can switch up. 
 
What inspired you to play basketball?
My older brothers were my main inspiration.  My oldest brother is 6 years older than I am so by the time I could remember he was already into basketball along with my other older brother.  It was nice playing against people who were older and stronger all the time because I was able to learn how to play against bigger opponents. 
 
What is the best part about playing for the Eagles basketball team? 
The atmosphere and community at home games.  It is a lot of fun to hear all of the students during the game.  We struggled at the beginning of the year playing away games because we didn’t have enough energy, at home games that has never been a problem.

What has been the most exciting game so far for you? 
The most exciting game for me was the Asheville School game at home.  We lost to them in Asheville in an intense game.  After the game was over some of their players got in our faces and so when they came to play us at home, we were ready.  After winning the game in overtime, everyone rushed the court and it was a special moment for all of us. 

What led you to come play basketball at Rabun Gap? 
I choose Rabun Gap for a couple of reasons, one being COVID-19.  Last year at my previous school we were online the entire year.  I didn’t go to school a single day the entire year other than basketball practice and games.   So being able to reclass and take classes like a regular year was a big positive.  The other reason was because I had heard about Rabun Gap’s basketball team.  I played with Nate, Luke, and a couple of guys who graduated last year over the summer.

What is the hardest part of being a student-athlete? How has the environment and people here at Rabun Gap helped you?  
The hardest part about being a student-athlete is time management.  It is tough to get work done with practice for 2-3 hours after school, home games, and away games.  My teachers have been very helpful by being willing to give me an extension on an assignment or even giving it to me early so that I can finish it without getting stressed out.

What makes playing at Rabun Gap special to you?
It is very special because we are a community and everyone comes to our home games and it has given me a chance to meet new people and make new friends.
 
What is your favorite thing about your coaches? 
My favorite thing about our coaches is the connection that they work hard to develop between themselves and the players.  The coaches are always trying to make sure that we are having fun whenever we can as long as we can be serious when we need to. 

What do you like to do in your free time? 
In my free time, I like to hang out with my friends.

What's your favorite class and why? 
My favorite class right now is Senior Humanities.  We just finished reading V for Vendetta which I thought was a very interesting graphic novel.
 
What are your plans for after high school? 
My plan after high school is to go to college.  I’m not sure if I will go to college to play basketball or just to get a higher education.

What other school activities or organizations/other sports are you involved with? 
Next year I am going to play soccer which I am very excited about.  Sadly I didn’t play this year when they won a state championship but maybe we can repeat next year. 
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Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is a private, coeducational day and boarding school for grades Pre-K through 12. Centrally located between Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC, we prepare young people for college, career, and a lifetime of leadership and service.