Athlete of the Week: David Hwang, Foundation Academy baseball

For the second consecutive summer, Foundation Academy baseball’s David Hwang spent time serving, coaching kids in the Dominican Republic.

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Foundation Academy rising freshman David Hwang spent last baseball season serving as a backup catcher on varsity for the Lions behind senior Matthew Hazelwood. Despite seeing limited action for Foundation in 2024, Hwang’s large frame, smooth swing and instincts behind the plate have Lions coaches excited about his development.

But, it wasn’t his promising game on the diamond that made Hwang the Athlete of the Week. Rather, it was his service to those in need. For the second consecutive summer, Hwang traveled to the Dominican Republic to share God’s word, volunteer as a coach at a baseball camp for kids, and deliver donated baseball equipment and gear from his and other Foundation baseball families. 

The Basics

Age: 14

Sport: Baseball

Grade: Freshman

School: Foundation Academy


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

I feel honored and grateful; it was a pleasant surprise.

What was your experience volunteering in the Dominican Republic like?

This was my second trip to the same village, Duquesa. I was so happy to see the same children’s faces and recognize their growth since last year. Although it was physically demanding, spending five days with the community was internally rewarding. I would love to return with other baseball players to serve more kids next year.

What is your biggest takeaway from the trip?

I should not take all the opportunities back home for granted. I became all the more grateful for every opportunity available here and more confident that God wants me to share those blessings with others elsewhere.

What was your favorite part of the trip?

I met new people and was able to pass down what my coaches taught me to the children there.

How did it feel to use the game of baseball to make a difference in the lives of the people you served?

As my friends and I dream about playing in MLB someday, I could see some of the boys who had no (MLB) dreams start dreaming about playing professionally someday. 

(By) training and playing baseball, these boys can stay out of trouble and focus on building their future.

What do you like the most about baseball?

It’s both a team and individual sport that teaches many life lessons, such as sacrifice, cooperation, resilience and having fun with my teammates.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from playing baseball?

I will likely fail more often than succeed at bat, but I will get better at managing my failures, appreciate the few successful moments, and stay humble and grateful.

Who is your favorite athlete?

Shohei Otani, because he is consistent on and off the field.

What is your favorite subject in school? Why? 

Math, because it is like doing pushups for my brain.

If you could have dinner with one person — dead or alive — who would it be?

Jesus. I want to be in the same room having a real meal with him.

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

It’s OK to be a little chubby. Don’t be too self-conscious about how you look.

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

How did you manage both academics and baseball successfully in high school?

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

Flying, because I want to travel freely without having to spend so much time at the airport and on the plane.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I want to travel to Florence, Italy, because I am interested in architecture and art from the Renaissance era. I also want to travel to South Korea, because everything is so convenient, and I like K-pop artists.

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

Giraffe, because I want to feel what it is like to be taller than everyone else.

What is your most controversial food take? 

Well-done steak.

Does pineapple belong on pizza? 

Yes, the combination of saltiness and sweetness makes the pizza taste even more savory.



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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