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The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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Athlete of the Week: Rigdhen Khyungra

Clara Hudson
Freshman Rigdhen Khyungra was drawn to playing basketball, even though his family doesn’t have a history of sports, because “I just wanted to be different,” he said.

Freshman Rigdhen Khyungra started basketball in the fifth grade and has shown his hard work and dedication not only by being a point guard for La Salle Varsity Basketball but also being the sole freshman on the team.

Khyungra doesn’t come from a sporty family but is inspired by his dad to succeed. “My dad’s childhood wasn’t the best,” he said. “It’s really amazing seeing how far he’s come in life and how strong he really is as a person.”

Before coming to La Salle, Khyungra played for PDX Ballers, a team that’s part of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Khyungra feels he has a lot of freedom and confidence while playing for his club team in comparison to school basketball. “I feel like I have to do everything right in a way,” he said while describing playing for La Salle.

Even with that pressure, Khyungra really enjoys playing, especially because of his coach Sean Kelly. Khyungra appreciates the support his coach gives the team. “He wants us to be the best that we can be,” he said.

He doesn’t think being a freshman holds him back from forming bonds with other teammates. Khyungra thinks it helps him bond with them more, “knowing I can compete at their skill level too,” he said, noting that the relationships he has built are supported by the respect he receives as an underclassman and the respect he has for his teammates. 

His least favorite thing about basketball is the mental stress. “[Basketball] gets in my head,” he said, which sometimes causes him to lose sleep. “Staying positive and keeping confidence is hard, especially after having a bad game.”

His favorite thing about basketball at La Salle is simply playing the sport. He finds his position as point guard to be ideal. “I can really control the whole tempo of the game and the possession,” he said. He also enjoys basketball because he can meet new people and make friends. 

Balancing school and basketball can be a challenge for Khyungra. “It gets difficult sometimes, especially since varsity has the latest game,” he said. This can make finishing school work difficult but it still is manageable. “It’s not as hard as I thought,” he said.

Other than basketball, there aren’t many other hobbies Khyungra can keep due to the busy schedule between sports and school. But, with the free time he has, he makes time to hang out with friends, work out on his own, and cook. His favorite thing to cook is ramen because of the wide variety of toppings he can add. 

Khyungra’s favorite teacher is PE and health teacher Mr. Chris Sulages. “He has a really big heart,” he said. 

His favorite class is English I because of the friends he has in the class, as well as the teacher, English teacher Mr. Greg Larson. 

He aspires to get a college offer and win a state championship by the end of his four years at La Salle. Khyungra believes that with the hard work he puts in and with the help of his coach, he will be able to reach his goals. “If it gets to that point, I think he will be really supportive of me,” he said.

In general, “I’m really excited to just play for this school,” he said.

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About the Contributor
Rowan Bienapfl, Staff Reporter
Junior Rowan Bienapfl has lived in Oregon her entire life and enjoys the rain that comes each season. She enjoys walking her chickens and adding to her plant collection, but spends most of her free time hiking, reading, painting, listening to music, and napping. Her current goal is to learn basic Russian and Ukrainian so she can better understand the people affected by the war reaching out for help at the church she serves at. At La Salle, she runs varsity cross country and track. She is also a member of the swim team. Her favorite part about sports at La Salle is the strong sense of family within the teams. Rowan’s favorite classes at La Salle are Honors English II and Honors Chemistry. She hopes to pursue a career in biology, becoming either a plant or surgical pathologist.

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