Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

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2024 Central Athletic Hall of Fame inductee: Nicky Lopez

Nicky+Lopez%2C+Central+Alumn+and+Major+League+Baseball+Shortstop%2C+was+inducted+into+Centrals+Athletic+Hall+of+Fame+on+Jan.+26.
Sam Lockhart
Nicky Lopez, Central Alumn and Major League Baseball Shortstop, was inducted into Central’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Jan. 26.

After playing baseball for all four years of high school, Central alumni Nicky Lopez graduated in 2013 and went on to play baseball in college at Creighton University. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the fifth round of the 2016 Major League Baseball draft. He debuted for the team three years later, making him the first Central alumni to reach the major leagues. Lopez currently is a shortstop for the Chicago White Sox. 

 

The following Q&A questions and responses are taken both from a panel discussion of all five inductees and from a Central Times interview with the inductee.

Q: How do you feel about being inducted into the athletics hall of fame?

A: It’s an honor for sure. You know, I’ve had other people, whether they’re coaches or past teammates who’ve been inducted and this [is an honor] with such great people and just a great school and to be a part of this kind of fraternity. It’s been special. 

Q: Were there any lessons you learned from your career that you’d like to share with students today?

A: At times, it’s gonna get really hard. And at times, you might hit a roadblock where you don’t know if you want to keep continuing, [but] just keep pushing forward. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, as cliche as it might sound, but there is. Just keep pushing forward and you’re eventually going to get the results you want. 

Q: What was the highlight of your experience at Central or what are you most proud of?

A: I was proud of my academic achievements. I committed to go to Creighton University, but [our Central team was] a sectional winning team. We got the super sectionals my junior year. I was a varsity award winner for five years. I was super excited about those. 

Q: What message or advice do you have for our current students?

A: Keep having fun.  It’s not a bad thing to ask questions. If you have any questions, whether it’s a question about college, whether it’s questions [like] hey, I don’t know if I want to continue doing what I’m doing, make sure you ask. Always, always reach out to people, but have fun doing what you’re doing.

 

For a overview of all of the 2024 inductees, click here.

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About the Contributor
Elaine Zhou, Features Editor
Elaine Zhou is a junior, and this is her second year with Central Times. Elaine is a lover of all types of writing- especially ones telling the stories of people around her. Along with being a student journalist, she is the vice president of Chinese Club, a staff of Literary Magazine, a member of Yearbook and a violinist. She is currently addicted to retail therapy, stationary and is gaslighting herself to like biology for the rest of her life. 
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