Athlete of the Week: Aleem Whitfield

March 23, 2009, 11:06 a.m. (ET)

Name:  Aleem Whitfield
Age:  19
Hometown: Geneva, NY 
Height:  6' 0"
Weight class:  165
Coach's name:  Tim Hill
Club name:  Geneva boxing Club

Aleem Whitfield usually goes on family vacations.  But none of them involved going to Ireland.  Being ranked number two in the United States has its perks. 

Whitfield's brother first introduced him to the sweet science.  The eight-year-old would accompany his older brother to the gym every day, where he would play around while his brother trained.  It wasn't until Whitfield was 12, when he decided to take the sport seriously.

Training under the supervision of Tim Hill at the Geneva Boxing Club, Whitfield also names Hill as his biggest inspiration.  Not only has Hill taught him how to throw a jab, he also taught him how to be a respectable young man.  "He brought me up from a little kid all the way up to a smart, boxer," he says.

Together, the two hope to make it to the 2012 Olympics.  Whitfield's smarts and decision making in the ring will definitely be assets when facing other talented athletes on his journey to the top.  In fact, Whitfield stopped playing football about a year ago in an effort to fully concentrate on boxing.

In addition to his big plans in the ring, he also has many outside the ring.  Whitfield is looking to enroll in college to study business.  Being a coach of the sweet science is also on this young boxer's horizon.  "I love boxing," he says.  "And if I can't box, I'd coach."