At 15-years-old Yash Kumar is looking at a future filled with possibilities. Not only is he a talented basketball player, mastering the positions of small forward, power forward, and center, but he has achieved the highest Grade Point Average (GPA) of 5.0 in his school.
The student-athlete who stands at 6ft 4 inches, said he was able to accomplish this because of the tremendous support he receives from his family and his aptitude for managing his time.
“They support me so much I couldn’t ask them to do more than what they’ve done. What they do is amazing. They help me in everything that I want to do- they’re just amazing people,” he said gushingly.
Although he fell in love with basketball when he was 9-years-old, he has only been playing competitively for a year, and he admits that it was challenging balancing school and basketball.
“In the beginning of the year, it was very challenging. But then I slowly realized that this is what I wanna do and it’s been easier. At school I give my 110 percent-make sure I don’t have too much homework to do at home, and then basketball it’s the same thing, I try to be efficient with my time,” he said.
Kumar further explained that he’d often do his homework in the car while getting to and from school. He said he also makes sure to go to bed on time.
But those are not the only sacrifices he’s had to make on his quest to achieve basketball greatness.
“The diet was a big part. I was a little bit overweight so I had to change my diet. I’m really healthy now. I had to sacrifice playing video games with my friends all day, I had to workout numerous hours a day, and be willing to learn every day,” he said.
However, he deems these sacrifices as necessary to achieve his ultimate goal. “I wanna go as far as I can go, there are no limits,” he said.
Last summer, Kumar met David Carter, Director of P.H.A.S.E.1 Basketball Academy in Thornhill Canada, and he encouraged him to join the academy.
And he asserts that this was one of the best decisions he made for his basketball journey.
“I’d say my shooting has increased significantly, that’s my greatest skill. My handling has also improved. When I first started I’d be dribbling down the court the ball would always be taken, now I can dribble through traffic and my IQ has gotten better,” he said of his improvements.
“I wanna go as far as I can go, there are no limits.”Yash Kumar
“I do still have more things to work on, but I now understand how the game is supposed to be played. It’s a simple game, you gotta stop over complicate things.”
The respect Kumar has for his coaches, his relationship with his teammates and the desire to make his parents proud motivates him to give his best on the court.
But he also sees basketball as a tool he can use to make a difference in the world.
“You see all these NBA players making millions helping other people, and I want to do that. People suffer from a lack of freshwater, food, and education, I’d want to help them with that,” he said. “So I just have to work hard, get to where I wanna go, and make the world a better place.”