By Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.—Silverton’s Isaac Semerikov pointed out that Western Oregon University redshirt freshman and Woodburn-grad RJ Veliz, who Semerikov has been training with, has never beaten him in a game of one-on-one.
In the crazy year that has been 2020, consistency has been crucial for Semerikov as he got done playing five games in Boise, Idaho this past weekend. Each day is something new, but with the same concept.
“Wake up: Four-mile run straight into my first lift of the day, recover and help around the house. Then go lift again or get shots up. Recover. Workout. Recover. Workout. 3 workouts a day minimum, with a rest day on Sunday to just live life. Consistency really is key,” he said, as he works out at Silvercreek Crossfit.
“I most definitely lost a lot of relationships this Spring/Summer, always saying no because of the constant practices or workouts, but I gained even more through basketball and the support from the Russian community. While it was tough because I live for my buddies, especially as the social butterfly, I knew that I only have one chance to chase my dreams, goals and visions. That’s when I found out my circle and who wants to see me succeed. You know who you are.”
Inside that circle is younger sister Justina, who the older Semerikov admits is the hardest working member of their family even though they have their difference when it comes to 1-on-1 games.
“My sister, Justina, is next up and is hands down the hardest working athlete in the state for her age group. In our family, there are no days off, you either get better or worse, no staying the same. My sister has really taken that to heart and really buckled down to become the best she can be,” said Isaac. “Everyone knows she has God-Given talent, crazy athletic talent and a hungry drive inside of her. Our relationship has gotten so much better through sports and working out together.
“She just has to stop thinking she can beat me 1v1, not happening buddy.”
For Semerikov, he knows the demands of the Foxes program. Being a swing player last year as a Junior was a humbling experience for the now-Senior. Head Coach Jamie McCarty reminded him that Silverton is one of the most prestigious programs that he is a part of.
“Junior year last year was extremely humbling. Swinging from JV to varsity was most definitely tough, but God always got a plan for us. Every time I thought I deserved more, Coach McCarty would remind me that I play for one of the most prestigious basketball programs Oregon has to offer, so if I played for any other program it would be a different story,” Semerikov said. “Now as a senior my leadership finally gets to come into full pace and I get to shine, glad I listened to what the coaches thought was best for me, my parents keeping me humble and grounded and for trusting the process.”
Each Senior from last season’s team taught him something new, it is something he is greatful for. Guarding Gonzales, Owen Cote and Trysten Wertz taught him to play his role and how to succeed at the Varsity level. Nate Brown and Grant Dunn taught him hard work, but play harder while enjoying the time with your teammates.
“I am eternally grateful for all those guys for making me into the player and person I am today,” Semerikov said.
It seems like every weekend he’s over in Idaho. Either with a few of his Silverton teammates working on team chemistry in hopes for a season this Winter or playing with the Oregon Prospects, he is getting more and more confident with his game with every rep in the weight room and with a basketball.
“I am playing my best and most confident basketball I have EVER played. Feeling bigger, faster and stronger than ever. Life couldn’t get any better. Life is good and God is great,” said Semerikov.