Young Basketball Star is Shooting for the WNBA - Kumon

Young Basketball Star is Shooting for the WNBA

Ava poses in front of a grey background

Ava, 11-years-old, Math Level I

For 11-year-old Ava, basketball is much more than just a sport – it’s her passion. Basketball has given Ava the chance to shine as a leader, but has also taught her the importance of being a team player.

Ava holds a championship banner next to her coach

“Playing team sports has allowed me to stand out as a leader. Sports has taught me that each player brings different skills to the game,” said Ava. “Even though we have our own role to play on the team, we are all like puzzle pieces, each different, but all important when it comes to achieving our common goal. Being a team player means sharing knowledge with others, so everyone can grow and become better.”

After years of practice on the court, Ava made the cut on one of Canada’s elite youth teams – The Kitchener-Waterloo Vipers. During the 2019 season, Ava and her team proudly earned the title of champions from the Ontario Basketball Association Provincial Championships. Ava also plays for the Adidas® sponsored Team Murray Girls, under NBA star, Jamal Murray.

Ava’s level of discipline and focus in the game has played into her success as a young athlete. One of Ava’s strong suits is her resilience and ability to overcome any obstacle she faces.

Ava poses in her Team Murray Girls tshirt

“Any time I’ve faced a challenge, I’ve taught myself to take a deep breath, roll-up my sleeves and get to work,” said Ava. “If I’m faced with a roadblock, it’s important to ask for help. I don’t have to face my challenges alone. Challenges are just bumps in the road standing in the way of achievements. When you overcome them, you will become stronger.”

With her sights set on a future with the WNBA playing for either the Chicago Sky or Toronto, Ava is determined to reach her dreams.

Ava was one of 56 students selected for Kumon’s 3rd Annual Student Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

“I was so ecstatic when I found out that I was selected to attend the Student Conference,” said Ava. “At the Student Conference, I really enjoyed meeting other students who shared similar interests as me. I also loved exploring the city of Chicago!”

Ava shares with us who her inspiration is and some of the achievements she’s most proud of.

What do you enjoy most about Kumon?

I enjoy that right when I wake up in the morning, there’s always a challenge waiting for me. With every challenge comes an accomplishment, and when you wake up it’s important to feel good about yourself.

What achievements are you most proud of?

Ava speaks at the podium at the student conference

I am proud of how even though I’m practicing and trying to balance it all, I’m still standing tall and confident. I find that I do my best when I am focused, and that’s a skill that is important in all areas of life.

What do you think of Kumon’s method of thinking for oneself?

Before I enrolled in Kumon, I was just an average student. I wanted to be so much more than average. Kobe Bryant once said, “We can always be kind of average and just do what’s normal. I’m not in this to be normal.” I love that quote because it encourages me to always work harder and think of ways to be better. Kumon helps me to think for myself because rather on taking the easy road, I exercise my brain and be resourceful. Why be average when I could be more and stand out from the crowd?

If you could sum up your Kumon experience in one word, what would it be?

Ava poses with her family in front of a gray backgroundInfinite.

Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?

My biggest inspiration would have to be Elena Delle Donne because she faced so much adversity but managed to push herself through to the WNBA as the 2nd overall pick. She inspires me to always do what suits me and be the best me I can be.

What advice would you give to kids just starting Kumon?

Stick to it! Even though it can be hard at times, stay true to you, and stick with it. Do everything in your power to make everything infinite.

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