Every week at least one athlete from each sport will earn the Gatorade G-Award/IMG Academy Athlete of the Week for displaying Heart, Hustle and Soul, and exhibiting a true desire to reach their true athletic potential.
The IMG Academy Baseball winner of the Gatorade G-Award for the week of July 8 is 18-year-old Ben Salazar from McAllen, Texas.
How long have you been playing baseball for?
I've been playing baseball since I was seven years old.
Who is your coach?
What is your favorite thing about IMG Academy and why?
My favorite thing about IMG Academy is not only how much they put knowledge of baseball into your head but also how they push you to be a better player.
Do you have any pre-game rituals that help you prepare for a big game?
Before I play every game, I do the sign of the cross and every time I get into the batter's box, I do the sign of the cross.
What professional athlete inspires you the most?
The professional athlete that inspires me the most is the catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Yadier Molina. I've liked him for about five years. He just puts in the work day in and day out. He never complains and just does what he does best.
What is your favorite thing to do after you win a game?
I like to go home and sleep after I win a game.
What motivates you to push through a tough practice?
Seeing everybody else do it and seeing how they don't complain motivates me to push through a tough practice. When I see how somebody out there is better than me, I want to be better than them so I want to go harder.