Pro-athlete alumni honored during basketball game


On Friday, Naperville North alumni Kayla Sharples and Nick Solak were honored during a home basketball game against Harlan High School. 

Current students from the girls soccer and boys baseball team gave Sharples, a defender for the Chicago Red Stars, and Solak, an infielder for the Texas Rangers, their professional jerseys in a ceremony during halftime.  Their jerseys will be displayed on the wall outside of the contest gym, amongst other Huskie alumni that made it to the “pros.” 

During a Q&A session before the game, Solak — of the class of 2013 — reminisced about his time at North and the effect it had on his career. 

“My time at North really shaped me as a person and as an athlete,” Solak said. “This school, this city, this town has had such a major impact on my life.” 

For Sharples, it was surreal to think of her name being on the same wall she walked past throughout her time at Naperville North. 

“I haven’t been back in a long time,” Sharples, who graduated in 2015, said. “Going through these halls again allows me to think about how much this school meant to me.”

During the Q&A, Solak and Sharples gave advice to students pursuing similar dreams. Topics included overcoming challenges and learning from them. 

“Get better at something every single day — whether it be through athletics or academics or anything else,” Solak said. “All you need to do is try, and there is nothing that can’t be done.” 

Read our story on Solak and listen to our podcast, “Game Time,” with the infielder as a special guest.