Park Center High School senior Quinton Hooker is a basketball star, but in the court of public opinion among his school community, he's much more than the points he scores on game day.
"He is a very, very, special young man," said Laura Greenspan, a humanities teacher at Park Center. "He's just a really good person."
A post-secondary enrollment options (PSEO) student who takes a couple college level classes at the University of Minnesota, Hooker maintains a 3.7 GPA at Park Center High School, but teachers say it's Hooker's ability to quietly lead and motivate his classmates and peers that truly sets him apart.
"It's an added bonus that he's a great student, and that he's a talented athlete," said Greenspan. "He's one of those kinds of kids that he just kind of gets a feel for the room, and he sees what needs to be done, and he does it."
For the past two years, Hooker has given up his free period each day to tutor and mentor students at Brooklyn Junior High.
Hooker says he feels best when he's connecting and interacting with other students, and he enjoys drawing them out of their shells.
"Everybody can bring something to the table, and some people show it more than others, so for some people you just have to encourage them or make them feel welcomed, enough to share their thoughts," said Hooker.
A three-time basketball team captain, point guard, and conference leader last year in scoring, Hooker has a full-ride scholarship to attend the University of North Dakota next fall. He's considering a major in sports management and finance.
Alexandra Renslo reporting
Thursday, October 04, 2012