Justin Hooper put another feather in his cap when he was named one of two incoming juniors to make the Oakland Athletics roster for the New Balance Area Code Games. Competing in a tournament typically reserved for seniors eyed by MLB scouts, Hooper will get his chance to prove his worth when the Area Code Games kick off Aug. 5 in Long Beach. ESPN will be webcasting the games live on Aug. 6. View it at ESPN3 or with the Watch ESPN App. And our writers have named Justin, SportStar of the Week!
SportStars Magazine: How much does this honor mean to you?
Justin Hooper: It’s like what the coaches told us, it’s a great honor. I know it’s more of a going-into-your- senior-year event. Since I’m gonna be a junior it means a lot to me. I’m just gonna give it my all like always. … I hope I do well down there.
SSM: How have you been get- ting ready for these games and the upcoming season in general?
JH: I’ve been lifting, I long toss and lift every single day. I’m just try- ing to get my arm stronger for these Area Code Games and see how good I can be down there.
SSM: Describe the relationship with your DLS teammates and coaches.
JH: I love all the players on the team. We have a great bond, great chemistry and I love our coaching staff.
SSM: You came close to winning NCS this year. Do you have a good shot at the title next year?
JH: I think we really do. We have a lot of guys coming back. … I’m 100 percent sure we’ll do perfectly fine.
JUSTIN’S QUICK HITS
Favorite Athlete: Cliff Lee
Favorite Baseball Team: Giants
Fave Class: U.S. History
Joe Demers – The College Park pitching sensation joined Hooper as the only other incoming junior named to the A’s Area Code Games roster.
Nathan Cervantez – The De La Salle junior earned a third-place finish in 138-pound Greco Roman tournament at the Asics/Vaughan Junior & Cadet National Championships in Fargo, ND.
Kelli Hayes – The Archbishop Mitty senior guard was recently among CalHiSports.com’s “Cream of the Crop” selections from the FILA 64 Las Vegas AAU tournament. She posted 21 points, 12 rebounds and six steals in one of her team’s wins.