Athlete Spotlight: James Wood baseball player Clayton Braithwaite

641125ee8edfb.imageJames Wood High School 17-year-old senior

Sport: Baseball. Position: First base/designated hitter

Parents: Melissa and Chad Braithwaite

Hometown: Paw Paw, W.Va., moved here for freshman year

What do you love about baseball?: I love bonding with my teammates and the coaches. We build a really strong connection.

Most memorable moment in baseball: When I was in 12U, I had two home runs in the same game. I came in later that game and pitched and I ended up winning the game.

Most embarrassing moment in baseball: My first home run ever was in 11U. In the very next at-bat, I struck out on three straight pitches.

Most difficult moment in baseball: I would say it’s the mental part. I think baseball is one of the toughest sports to play mentally just because you can fail in baseball and still be great in baseball.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Kobe Bryant, because I’ve always looked up to him and his work ethic. Just everything about him, I liked the guy. I like the way he played basketball and his mentality; My pap, we just called him BC. He passed away my eighth grade year. I always looked up to him. He was very old school, very strict and he knew how to joke around. I just loved talking to him; My paw paw, my great grandfather. He was just like my pap, very outgoing and old school. He wanted to do everything himself. He was just a good person in general.

Biggest athletic influence: Kobe Bryant, because of his work ethic and mentality. He wanted to win and that’s what he wanted to do, no matter the cost. He always wanted to win.

Favorite teacher: Mrs. [Leanne] Leonard. I had her for math my junior year. I didn’t really talk a lot and she made me come out of my shell a little bit. I talked more and now she’s one of those teachers I talk to all of the time.

Favorite athlete: Kobe Bryant

Favorite sports team: Los Angeles Dodgers

Favorite movie: Harry Potter series

Favorite TV show: “All American”

Favorite song: “Levitating” bu Dua Lipa and DaBaby

Favorite food: Pancakes

Worst thing you’ve eaten: Brussels sprouts

Plans after high school: I plan attending a four-year college with an undergrad in pre-med, then going to med school and becoming a doctor in pediatrics. My mom is a nurse so I’ve always had a little thing for it and my brother is also going into the medical field. I did my research and I just want to help people. I want to specialize in pediatrics and go to a children’s hospital and work with chronic diseases.

— Compiled by Walt Moody


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