A Student Athlete’s Journey to GCU

GCU student playing basketball

The student athletes at Grand Canyon University are hardworking individuals who continue our proud tradition of strong athletics and academics. Each of our student athletes is an invaluable addition to our learning community, and Kavita Akula is certainly no exception. This 5’5” guard—who is a junior as of the 2017-2018 season—has averaged an impressive 8.9 points per game, 1.2 assists and 2.0 rebounds. Kavita’s journey to GCU is a remarkable testament to the strength of the human spirit in overcoming adversity.

Early Life

Kavita Akula hails from Bhilai, located in eastern central India. Bhilai is known as an industrial town with one of the largest steel plants in the world. It’s also home to half a dozen engineering colleges. From her early years, Kavita demonstrated an enduring commitment to honing her talents on the basketball court. Because the temperature in India is so hot during the day, she and her teammates would wake up at 3 to 4 a.m. to play outdoors.

School and Basketball Career

One year, when Kavita was attending a basketball camp, she and seven other students were selected to attend school and play basketball in the U.S. Kavita was thrilled with the opportunity, but there were significant challenges to overcome. At the time, she didn’t speak a word of English, so she had to learn the language quickly. American food is also completely different from what she had been accustomed to, which posed another difficulty during her transition. In her senior year of high school, Kavita was hunting for colleges when tragedy struck the family. She went back to India to mourn the loss of her father. When she was ready to move forward with her basketball career, she’d lost her scholarships. Kavita first attended junior colleges before finding a home at GCU.

Future Aspirations

When she graduates, Kavita hopes to play basketball for a few years in the U.S. or overseas. Then, she wants to be a coach in India. Kavita feels called to help cultivate teamwork, sportsmanship and strong work ethics in kids in her home country so they can benefit from basketball like she has.

Watch the accompanying video to hear directly from this talented young woman:

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Grand Canyon University welcomes students and student athletes from around the world, and from all backgrounds. Click on the Request More Information button to discover all that we have to offer.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.