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Smoky Now

The student news site of Smoky Hill High School

Smoky Now

The student news site of Smoky Hill High School

Smoky Now

Final Four Athlete and Best-Selling Author: Lorenzo ‘Zo’ Contreras is Doing Both

From baskets to books, Smoky athlete excels in more ways than one
Photo on the right via Ibbro Photography

As basketball makes it to the ‘Final Four’ for the first time in twenty years, many of the athletes on the team are on the path to success– one specifically, is on that path in more ways than one. 

Junior Lorenzo ‘Zo’ Contreras is a point guard on the Varsity Boy’s Basketball team at Smoky. In addition to that, he is an Amazon best-selling author for the children’s book, “Sammy the Super Snail – Hero of the Garden”. 

Contreras discussed how this idea began and followed through with a fully developed storyline.

“During the summer I got the idea to start it and I just started drafting it since I got the idea and yeah, it just took a few months,” Contreras said, “The name of the book is ‘Sammy the Super Snail’ and basically it’s just about little stories of Sami helping other [animals] in the garden.”

He also shared his thoughts on making it to the Bestsellers rankings on Amazon in addition to placing higher in the league in basketball.

“I think it’s pretty cool that it made [it] to the Amazon Bestsellers. I kind of want to start writing more books, like other versions, other parts of it, so I think it’s something I can expand on after I got a little bit of success on it,” Contreras said.

He also went on to credit family members, like his dad, for help throughout the whole process of creating the book.

“My dad helped me a lot throughout the process. He’s the one that found the illustrators for me because I didn’t draw myself, I can’t really draw, but he’s the one that helped me find the illustrators because he knows somebody who’s also written books,” Contreras said. 

Publishing a book for the first time was not an easy feat for Contreras– he continues to share about the steps taken to make ‘Sammy the Super Snail’ with his dad.

“A big thing that I did was when I posted my book, I put it at 99 cents, just so that people like family supporters who didn’t have kids who are still going to read it, but like weren’t going to always use it, were going to reuse the book. They could just buy some because there was a low price,” Contreras said, “My dad helped me a lot with the publishing [with] the person he knows, so yeah, it was just it was a team effort.”

As a Bestselling author on Amazon, books are not the only passion Contreras is excelling in– being an active teammate on the boy’s basketball team during a successful season is another.

Contreras shares his emotions about the basketball team creeping its way up the ladder as the Final Four game on Fri, Mar. 8.

“I feel really good. I told my dad at the beginning of the season, I feel like we’re the best team Smoky has seen,” Contreras said, “And if we win state then technically that means we literally are the best team because we never won state here.”

Contreras hopes to continue writing after the basketball season wraps up.

“Well, right now I’m just completely focused on basketball, to be honest. We have one more week for sure, [the] Final Four. So after this, I think I’m gonna start expanding on my book stuff,” Contreras said.

With a mix of a unique hobby and achieving passion, it is safe to say that not many students are writing books and shooting baskets like Contreras.

“For people to know that I’m not only a basketball player, that I’m also, I like to think, pretty intelligent,” Contreras said, “So yeah, it feels pretty good, everybody’s been asking me about it [and] teachers talking to me about it, feels really good.”

As an athlete participating in the first Final Four basketball game in twenty years at Smoky, Zo Contreras is accomplishing more creatively with the position of being a Bestselling children’s book author. 

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