The West Orange boys basketball team (8-4) is right in the thick of the hunt in Class 8A District 3, and Quinton Forrest, a transfer wing player from Windermere Prep who started his career as a freshman with the Warriors, has been a big reason why. Just in West Orange’s past four games, Forrest averaged 22.5 points per contest, including 26 in an overtime win over Ocoee on Dec. 17. With his ability to throw down electrifying dunks and energy his teammates — and the crowd — Forrest is our choice for Athlete of the Week.
The team trailed early against Ocoee before eventually winning in overtime. What did you guys have to do to pull out the victory?
We never game up; we kept playing hard. Coach (Eric) Jones is a really good coach, and he always tells us “Just push it.” We kept playing hard ’til the final buzzer.
The team has had some ups and downs so far this season, but what do you see that you like about this group of players?
We’re kind of guard-heavy; we don’t have a lot of bigs, but all that means is that we get up and down the floor. We’re good at spreading the floor and running (isolations).
What do you think needs to be improved for the team to win more games?
We need to improve getting more offensive rebounds. Basically, just rebounding (because) we’re undersized.
What’s it like to be back at West Orange after playing for Windermere Prep as a sophomore and junior?
It’s like a welcome feeling. I love coming home, where I started my freshman year, and this is where I’d love to finish.
As an individual, on what elements of your game have you been focusing most?
Just working on getting stronger in the weight room; I hit the weight room heavy. Trying to finish at the basket, and I’m still working on my jump shot.
What’s the latest on your college recruitment?
Right now, I’m really leaning toward Florida Gulf Coast (University). I really would like to go there.
You have had a good number of memorable dunks so far this season — which one has been your favorite?
The in-bounds lob against Ocoee.
The team has plenty of depth and talented players — who, in particular, has impressed you?
I would have to say Jeremiah Thornton. He’s a really up-and-down (the court) guy; he’s a great point guard. He has great dribble moves, and he can finish at the rack easy.
Which NBA player do you most model your own game after?
(Andre) Iguodala, my favorite player.
Which NBA team do you like to follow the most?
The Knicks. Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks.
Do you have a New Year's resolution?
What’s something about you the most people do not know?
I love to play ultimate frisbee.