Armani Answers

Armani Sanchez has a never ending love for the game of baseball

Armani Sanchez, Heights shortstop Vype

Armani Sanchez is the most dominant high school baseball player in Houston, Texas.

He plays shortstop for the Heights Bulldogs and he just recently fulfilled a lifelong dream by committing to play college baseball for the Oklahoma Sooners.

Sanchez is coming off a season where he had a batting average of .432 including 13 RBIs and 22 runs for himself.

“What makes me good at baseball I believe is my baseball IQ,” Sanchez said. “I know where I’m supposed to be at all times. I stay ahead of the play and I’m very coachable.”

In addition to his IQ, Sanchez is a “never too high, never too low” type of guy.

No matter how successful he is on the field, he feels there is always room for improvement, and even when he fails at something, he tries to remain positive.

Sanchez has been holding a bat in his hand since the age of four, and he credits his mother with having the biggest impact on him being the dominant player he is today.

“My mom has been my #1 supporter since day one,” Sanchez said. “There are no words to describe my mother mainly because she’s a single mother which to me is the toughest job in the world.”

VYPE Q&A

VYPE: What led to your decision to commit to OU?

Sanchez:  Oklahoma has always been a dream school to me. As soon as I got to campus they made it feel like home. I love all sports and I love to see all of Oklahoma athletes succeed.

VYPE: What got you into playing baseball?

Sanchez: I’ve been holding a bat since I was four years old and it has stuck with me thanks to my family. I’ve fell in love with the competitiveness also.

VYPE: What’s something your coach always tells you?

Sanchez: “Learn how to take failure cause failing is a part of life.”

VYPE: If you could play a different sport, what would it be?

Sanchez: Baseball is what I live for.

VYPE: Favorite quote and/or bible verse?

Sanchez: F.F.L which means “FAMILY. FOR. LIFE”. That’s stuck with me since I was a young kid. I also have it marked on my cleats.

VYPE: What’s your dream job?

Sanchez:  My dream job is to be a professional baseball player.

VYPE: What’s your favorite hobby?

Sanchez: I would say designing clothes for my friends and our brand. The brand is called Spiffy which means “fresh” and we have 3 crosses on the back cause my friend Alex Botello and  I are strong believers in God. We let Him lead our paths.

VYPE: What’s your biggest fear?

Sanchez: Biggest fear would be planes, but not because of how high they go, but because of the movie, “Snakes On A Plane”.

VYPE: Favorite Artist/Song

Sanchez: Bad Bunny

VYPE: Favorite vacation spot?

Sanchez: Columbia: It runs in my blood.

VYPE: Favorite brand of shoes?

Sanchez: Vans

VYPE: Favorite athlete?

Sanchez: Fransisco Lindor

VYPE: Favorite food or snack?

Sanchez: Mexican food

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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