Resident Spotlight June 2023 – Aiden Preussner
For most high school students, summer break means sleeping in and lazy days spent with friends. There are no classes to attend or assignments to turn in, freeing students from their routine commitments. For Fountain Ridge resident, Aiden Preussner, his summer looks a little bit different.
Aiden begins his days at 5 a.m., so he can be at basketball practice by 6 a.m. For the next six hours, Aiden runs sprints, perfects plays, and shoots baskets with his high school basketball team. At noon, Aiden grabs a quick meal at home before heading back out. He spends his afternoons at a local basketball court, shooting hoops by himself. Aiden’s solo practice usually takes him into the early evenings, where he has his second official practice of the day, this time a two-hour practice with his travel team: Rising Stars.
Where most would find a daily schedule of this caliber exhausting, Aiden’s motivation behind his 12+ hour days is simple.
“I want to play basketball in college,” he said. “My dream is to play in the NBA.”
At 14 years old, Aiden is well on his way to achieving his dreams. This fall, he will be a freshman at Fort Carson High School, and he already has a spot on their JV basketball team. On the court, Aiden typically plays as either his team’s center or small forward. His love of offense and finding victories in close games against his opponents has driven him to improve his skills over the years, leading him to a career high of 28 points.
In addition to playing for Fort Carson High School this fall, Aiden will continue to play with Rising Stars, an organization he has been a part of since second grade. As part of Rising Stars, Aiden and his teammates play numerous tournaments locally in Colorado Springs and Denver, but they also have the opportunity to travel to nearby states. Recently, Aiden’s team played a tournament in New Mexico, and now they have their sights set on an upcoming tournament in Las Vegas. For Aiden, being able to explore new states is exciting, especially when he is with his teammates.
Being a part of Rising Stars, while fun, has also taught Aiden and his teammates a sense of responsibility. Throughout the season, players participate in multiple fundraisers to help cover a portion of the travel cost. This past weekend, Aiden’s team organized a local car wash to accompany their ongoing fundraiser of selling popcorn.
All of the work that Aiden puts in on and off the court circles back to his dream of one day playing in the NBA. He closely follows both collegiate and professional teams, often watching film in his spare time. Out of all of the college teams he follows, Aiden’s favorite is Duke, while his favorite professional team is the Phoenix Suns. That being said, Aiden’s favorite player of all time is former Los Angeles Laker, Kobe Bryant.
“He has inspired me to keep pushing, no matter how good you are,” Aiden said.
The youngest of four, Aiden is not the only one in his family to have found what time and dedication can reward. While Aiden and his mother have lived at Fountain Ridge for the last six years, his sister graduated from Colorado Mesa University on a full-ride basketball scholarship, and his two brothers joined the armed forces, the Air Force and the Marines, respectively. Before joining the Air Force, Aiden’s eldest brother was offered a partial scholarship to play football, a sport that Aiden continues to play in addition to basketball. On his team, Aiden is both a quarterback and linebacker, a secondary testament to his leadership abilities.
When Aiden finds those few moments in between his countless athletic commitments, he can be found playing video games or listening to music, most likely to albums by either J. Cole or Drake. And, although summer has just started, Aiden is already displaying the typical excitement of a soon-to-be high schooler. Starting at a new school can be an intimidating experience, but Aiden is taking it all in stride. He is looking forward to a fresh start at a new school, where he will be in classes with his friends and teammates.