View Park sophomore Chima Uka enjoys a solid team effort, his involvement with the Knights football and track and field teams reflect that. In football, Uka does work on both sides of the ball as a wide receiver and a defensive back. He is a sprinter on track, running the 100m, 200m, 4x100m and 4x200m.
Throughout his youth, he found a sense of community through football. His favorite track event is the 4x100m because “being on a team is always fun.”
“[I] like having a brotherhood and having people to go to when I’m in need,” Uka said about football. “They’re always there for me and when I was younger, going through a lot, this was an outlet for my anger and all of my pain.”
With a 3.2 GPA, Uka’s favorite class is English. Academics are his main priority because he wants to remain eligible to play football.
“I put school first of course,” he said. “If I feel like [if] I have a lot of homework, then I might miss practice or I’ll go to practice, then cut it short to get my school work done.”
During this season, Uka made 74 total tackles, 55 of them being solo tackles. He also earned two fumble recoveries. In their game against the Wilson Mules, he made a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Uka admitted that being a multiple sport athlete had it’s disadvantages.
“It’s difficult sometimes, but it’s like they all go hand-in-hand,” he said. “It helps and it keeps me occupied to not be going out.”
His football coach Ken Henderson taught him the importance of learning. Uka noted how he could talk to Henderson about anything and how he puts an effort in having close bonds in the players on the football team.
“Always be eager to learn. For me, that was the best part,” Uka said. “I really didn’t know anything and I came out here every day and I was just ready to learn and [Henderson] just taught me how to do everything.”
The View Park Knights had a tough season, but Uka saw it as an opportunity to enjoy his teammates.
“The whole season, it’s been fun,” he said. “Most of these dudes, the seniors at least, it’s always been fun with them.”
The L.A. Sentinel is looking for athletes with a strong academic background or currently volunteers to make L.A. a better place. Please contact Amanda Scurlock at firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate your Student Athlete of the Week.