I've interviewed governors, high profile coaches and athletes and people from virtually every walk of life.
But I can't remember an interview more fascinating than the one in which I participated on Friday evening.
Accompanied by long-time Parkersburg High School assistant football coach Mark McCullough, it was my pleasure to spend a couple hours with the Wasonga family at their home.
While most Parkersburg residents recognize the name due to the amazing talent of Parkersburg High School running back Allan Wasonga, the state Gatorade Player of the Year, I hope they get the opportunity to meet the other members of this incredible family.
Can you imagine making the bold and courageous decision to leave your native country and travel to a new continent and a new nation in the hope of finding a better life for your children?
That's what Willis and Helen Wasonga did when they left their native Kenya to come to the United States.
Theirs is a fascinating story, but one about which they don't seek publicity.
Rather, they quietly go about being productive members of society and raising a family. Plus, they manage to perfectly blend their Kenyan culture into an American way of life, never forgetting their roots but cherishing their adopted home.
Naturally, the purpose of Friday's interview was to talk to Allan about his recent trip to San Antonio, Texas, for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Combine, where he emerged as one of the top junior running backs in America.
Not only did he run 40 yards in 4.53 seconds - the sixth fastest time among the 500 combine participants - but he also showed his football intelligence, running pass and run routes exactly as described by those running the combine.
"It was a great week,'' said Wasonga, who never had been to Texas, where he was looking forward to some warm weather. That was about the only disappointment of the week as San Antonio was cold but Wasonga was hot. Already on the radar of several of the nation's top programs, he's now virtually assured of seeing a huge recruiting battle for his services, much like the one that took place over former Parkersburg High School lineman Josh Jenkins, now a starter at West Virginia University.
Wasonga, who seems to be a daily topic of discussion on Internet message boards, cleared up two rumors.
First, he will be playing for Parkersburg High School this fall. Already, he has been taking a leadership role in the weight room. He knows it is his senior year and seniors must become the team leaders.
Also, he is keeping his options open when it comes to where he will play college football.
He likes Ohio State. He likes West Virginia. When the time comes, he will look at what those and other schools have to offer both in the way of education and football.
But it is not recruiting on which he is focused, although his cell phone rings constantly with interview requests from scouting services and college coaches.
Rather, he is focused on bringing a state championship to PHS.
In spite of his 2,200 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns last fall, the Big Reds finished 6-5 and lost in the opening round of the state playoffs.
That's one experience Wasonga doesn't want to repeat. He wants to return to the playoffs and end his high school career at Wheeling Island Stadium, playing in the Class AAA state championship game.
Before that, he is going to run track this spring for the Big Reds. His sprinting ability should be a major boost to coach Rick Lemley's ever-improving track program.
McCullough sees many similarities and traits between Wasonga and former Big Red standout Nick Swisher, now a starter for the World Series champion New York Yankees.
Both are confident athletes, great teammates and always willing to help others, said McCullough, who guided Jenkins through the recruiting process and now is mentoring Wasonga.
Allan is interested in radiology and soon will get the opportunity to "job shadow'' a local radiologist and get an up close and personal look at what may become his profession.
Although most Parkersburg sports fans only see Allan's talents on Friday nights, they also should appreciate his work in the classroom and in the community. And if they get the chance to meet his family, it's likely they will experience the wow factor as the Wasongas are a unique, uplifting, courageous lot.
Allan has three brothers: Eugene, who attends Fairmont State University; and Kevin and Caleb, who are studying at Marshall University. The only sister is Catherine, a sophomore at PHS?who plans to run track this spring.
Every athlete has a story to tell, but few high school seniors have experienced what Allan Wasonga already has seen in his 17 years on Earth.
After spending time with Allan, his parents and his siblings, I will continue to admire his athletic talents, but I will look at him as much as a person as an athlete.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org