Franklin senior basketball player is this week’s Student Athlete of the Week

He's a big reason why the Franklin basketball team is on the road tonight in Lakeland, getting set for the 1-a state semifinal against Williston!
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 9:47 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - At 18 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game, senior Owen Poloronis is a key leader for the 20-7 Seahawks who will take on Williston in Wednesday night’s semifinal. And to think, in middle school, this guy was more of a baseball player than hoopster!

“So I’ve been playing basketball like since the sixth grade.” Poloronis told us. “But I’ve always been primarily a baseball player. And then in the eighth grade I started taking it a little bit more seriously. I remember in the ninth grade, we lost in regionals and I remember feeling really bad about not being able to help my team win. So So I started working really hard. And I noticed that I loved basketball way more than baseball. So I ended up stopping playing baseball. And I focused on basketball and worked really hard day in and day out.”

And man is head coach Ray Bailey happy about all that!

“He’s one of the special ones that I’ve had the opportunity to coach. “Coach Bailey said. “I started with him very young, I want to say when he was probably in elementary school. And to see right now him at this point right now, he’s special. He’s transitioned his body, he’s transformed his game. He’s just a special athlete. Academically and on the court.”

Academically speaking, Owen’s a 3.7 student who hasn’t quite decided on his future path, though he says he is thinking about a career in physical therapy. He’s hoping leading the Seahawks to a state title might help in his dream of not just going to college but playing on the next level as well. And he takes that word “leading” quite seriously!

“Yes sir I’ve really tried to lead the team this year” Poloronis said “because in years past we’ve been missing like, we’ve had a lot of talent but just you know guys not being together. Guys doing their own thing. So this year I came in with the mindset to really lead on the court. And to lead you have to lead by example. And off the court, just because that’s how I’ve always been raised, just my morals and everything sir.

Owen says regardless of his future, for the here and now, he can’t think of a better way to end his senior season than with the trip to State!

“It’s been my favorite season so far man. It’s been awesome, everybody’s come together and everybody on our team wants to win. That’s one thing I’ve been really proud about my guys, it’s just every single game, day in and day out, we want to win.”

Owen and the team traveled to Lakeland Tuesday in advance of the 1A State Semifinal with Williston, which is set for 6 eastern Wednesday night.

Newschannel 7′s Student Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Walborsky, Bradley and Fleming.