Heaps of school work and three sports were not enough to keep Darek Khabani occupied during his Redmond High senior year.
The Mustang also continued his involvement with the Athletes for Kids Mentorship Program and National Honor Society when the school books were shut for the day and basketball, baseball and golf practices and contests were completed.
Khabani, who was the Redmond Rotary Lions Club student of the month last October, sported a 3.90 unweighted grade-point average with classes in honors biology, AP language composition, AP calculus and Spanish 1-3.
Time management is vital to his success and he always places school before sports, he said. Khabani will attend the University of Washington in the fall and will see what classes strike a chord with him and then carve a career path. He’s interested in business and sports marketing and people have said that he’s got the tools to be a solid sports coach.
While Khabani’s future is wide open, he knows that he wants to make an impact on people’s lives. This was displayed during his two years with the mentorship program, where he met with his fifth-grade buddy for weekly visits and activities.
“It’s been a great influence on my life and I’m so happy I got into the program,” said Khabani, who developed a great friendship with the youngster, learned about patience and honed his leadership skills.
Khabani also led his teammates in the sports realm as senior captain of the basketball and baseball teams. He earned three varsity letters on each of those squads during his Mustang career along with the coaches’ award in both sports senior year. Add most inspirational for baseball as a senior and the accolades for 2019 are complete.
“I think it’s just the love of the game. I’ve just always had a part of me that just loves sports and the competitiveness. I never wanna lose, I’m always striving for my best,” said Khabani, who used to play quarterback for junior football, but ended that sport because he wasn’t a fan of getting hit.
On the golf front, during Khabani’s first season with the Stangs, he lists nailing a birdie on a par-5 at Bear Creek Country Club as a highlight. He added that working diligently on one’s short game and doing the small things right sets golfers up to shine on the course.
Khabani, who played point guard in basketball and pitcher, second base and shortstop over the years in baseball, praised his family and friends for their support during his Mustang career.
The Reporter asked Khabani a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What would you tell an incoming freshman how to succeed in high school?
I think I heard this my freshman year, and I kind of blew it off, I’d say. Now it finally hits me — procrastination is crazy. You gotta get your work done and manage your time. Especially if you’re playing a sport, you gotta hone in on school, take advantage of the class time the teachers give you.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve ever overcome?
I’ve never gotten hurt, so that’s good, I’ve never had to overcome one of those challenges. AP Lang (Language) I really struggled with. It was my first AP class, I wasn’t the greatest at English, but I also knew that the SAT and ACT were coming up. I think I overcame this by sitting down and relaxing, and I talked to my coaches and said, “I’m having a tough time, is it OK if I kind of leave practice maybe 5-10 minutes early and go and get extra study time?” They were really helpful with that. I also went and saw my teacher, he was very helpful. Mr. (Trevor) Tangen, I thank him to this day. He was always there when I needed it.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m not a big kind of like future guy, I leave it open, I wanna see what great things I can do. I wanna influence people’s lives. I wanna give back to my community. I wanna stay in Redmond and have a big impact. In five years, if I’m not in school, I see myself having a nice job. I wanna have a job that I love doing every day.
Doing a lot of stuff that you’re doing already, you’re already influencing people. You’re already on that path, so, well done.
What’s a special skill that you’d like to learn?
I feel like a self-defense class would be cool. Learning karate. My cousin does it, and she’s a black belt and she can just destroy everyone.
She take you down?
She takes me down and she uses all these moves and I’m like, “Man, I feel like that’d be cool if I learned how to do that.”