HOT SPRINGS, Arkansas — Kaleb Hughley has been playing basketball as long as he can remember.
"I started playing when I was about six years old when my brother started playing for the school," he said, "and since then, I was like, yes, this is the sports I want to play."
Growing up idolizing Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade, he fell in love with the sport almost immediately.
"I love just when you're in the gym, like the energy that you feel from the fans and the adrenaline that it gives you," said Hughley. "It gives you a different type of high that you feel, you feel like you want to be there. The sportsmanship and the teamwork that happens with it is just amazing."
He loves it so much that when he qualified for the Junior Olympics in the 400-meter and the 4x100-meter relay, he didn't go so that he could pursue basketball.
"At that point it was either track or basketball," he said, "and I was way more in love with basketball than I was with track."
Kaleb will miss playing at Hot Springs, especially in front of the Trojans' fans.
"They're fans," he said. "Our fans, they're crazy but they're really lovable. They're ride or die and it's amazing. I love our fans so much."
He will continue his basketball career at the Southwestern Assemblies of God University, majoring in physical sciences. And there was no doubt that it was the right school for him.
"They put me into a group chat with all of their teammates and other players," said Hughley. "They're so welcoming and they already feel somewhat like a family."
As he works toward his dream of playing in the NBA, Kaleb lives by one simple motto.
"It says here strictly business," he said, showing the logo on his t-shirt. "You've got to always remember in life and in sports it's got to be strictly business."