Athlete of the Week: Avery Michels, Foundation girls basketball

Foundation’s freshman phenom is the Lions’ leader in points per game, assists and blocks, and despite being a ninth-grader she already has four years of varsity experience.

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Despite being a freshman this season, Avery Michels has been growing into a cornerstone piece of the Foundation Academy varsity girls basketball for the past four seasons, starting her varsity career as a sixth-grader. 

In seventh grade, Michels broke into the starting rotation of a Lions team that reached the regional semifinals of the 2021-22 FHSAA Class 3A state championship tournament. 

Last year, she made the jump from starter to star for the Lions, leading the team in points, assists and steals per game. Beyond being named the team’s MVP, she also got it done in the classroom, earning the highest GPA on the team.

Now, the 6-foot wing continues to increase her production as the Lions’ go-to player, leading the team in points with 15 per game — a career-high — in assists with 2.1 and in blocks, averaging one an outing. 

According to the freshman baller, the reason she even started playing basketball — instead of continuing down the competitive horse riding path — was because she went to her brother’s training session and thought it looked like fun. 

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Age: 15

Sport: Girls basketball

Grade: Freshman

School: Foundation Academy


How does it feel to be named Athlete of the Week?

It is an honor to receive any recognition, and it makes me want to work harder to reach my potential.

What do you like most about playing basketball?

Hanging out with my teammates and friends, and growing as a team and player each year.

What is your goal this season for yourself and the team?

To improve the weak parts of my game, (such as) rebounding and defense. As a team, improve each week and be playing our best basketball when district playoffs start.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from basketball?

Leadership and confidence.

Who is your favorite basketball player, and what about their game do you like?

Caitlyn Clark. She is just fun to watch.

Who do you try to model your game after?

Caitlyn Clark.

Favorite basketball memory?

My seventh-grade year, we advanced to the state Elite 8 and got to travel as a team and spend a few days in Tallahassee for the playoff game.

What’s your go-to pre-game meal?

Publix popcorn chicken.

What’s your go-to pre-game hype song?

“Great Gatsby” by Ron Wave.

What’s your favorite non-basketball hobby?

Baking and driving my golf cart all over downtown Winter Garden with friends.

Favorite subject in school?


Three things you would take to a deserted island?

Blanket, food and a gun — to hunt for more food.

What is your favorite movie?

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”

If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be?

Caitlyn Clark.

If you could go back in time to a specific time in history, where would you go and why?

Right now. I like where I’m at.

Looking back, what piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t look for reassurance from other people.

If you could ask your future self a question, what would it be?

What college should I go to?

Who is your favorite superhero?

Spider-Man; Miles Morales.

Who is your favorite supervillain?


If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

Flying; it sounds fun.

If you could travel to three places in the world, where would you go?

Norway — to see the Northern Lights — Bora Bora and the Maldives for the beaches.

If you could be an animal for a day, which one would you be?

Dolphin. I love dolphins.

What is your most controversial food take?

Sushi is gross.

Does pineapple belong on Pizza?


Sam Albuquerque is the Sports Editor for the Orange Observer. Please contact him with story ideas, results and statistics.

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Sam Albuquerque

A native of João Pessoa, Brazil, Sam Albuquerque moved in 1997 to Central Florida as a kid. After earning a communications degree in 2016 from the University of Central Florida, he started his career covering sports as a producer for a local radio station, ESPN 580 Orlando. He went on to earn a master’s degree in editorial journalism from Northwestern University, before moving to South Carolina to cover local sports for the USA Today Network’s Spartanburg Herald-Journal. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his lovely wife, Sarah, newborn son, Noah, and dog named Skulí.

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