BEREA, Ohio - Get to know junior defender JT Taubeneck (Parma/Normandy). This season, Taubeneck has been named to his first all-tournament team at the 28th Annual Bob Allen Nissan Classic.
How did you get started in your soccer career?
I grew up playing soccer. It started as something my parents put me in as a child so that I would meet new people and go outside more than I would normally. As I started getting older and began to make more friends, I started to fall in love with it. It is not something that I appreciate because it has given me so many joyful moments and taught me so many life lessons in the process.
If you could have dinner with one professional athlete (living or dead), who would it be and why?
This is an extremely tough question for me. I feel there are a lot of athletes that I would love to sit down with and just talk to for a couple of hours. For me, it would have to be Kobe Bryant. It may sound a little surprising that I didn't choose a soccer player but I look up to Kobe in many ways. First of all, he is an avid soccer fan who grew up overseas so I would love to not only talk about his experiences abroad but just get his viewpoint on soccer. He is a smart guy so it would be fun to talk tactics, players and teams. It would also be fun to talk basketball and his life as a professional athlete and how he had to adjust coming right out of high school. After those, I would like to pick his brain a little and just ask him as much as I could. Kobe is a very intensely self-motivated individual, a fierce competitor and a smart guy. I could learn a lot from him if I were to have dinner with him.
If you played another sport, what would it be and why?
For me, it's a no brainer. Hockey. I love watching it and know that I could never be 6'4" and physically play basketball because I'm too small. Hockey is creative, fast-paced and a physically brutal sport, which is part of the fun. Its playing style has some similarities to soccer so I feel that I could pick up the game quickly. I would, however, have to learn to skate, which could take some time, but, after that, it would fun to learn how to handle a puck and take a couple of slap shots.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
It's a quote I think that was said by John Lennon. It was, "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end." This always reminds me that things will always find a way to work themselves out and that I just need to be positive and keep looking forward.
What are some of your hobbies?
Other than soccer, I really enjoy playing other sports. Even if they are recreational ones such as ping pong or billiards. I can't say I'm amazing at them but it's nice to play something different every once in a while. I also enjoy listening to music and watching TV shows like Game of Thrones and finding other good shows.