Light Uchechukwu is inspired and inspiring
The Bisons volleyball captain leads by example
On the volleyball court, Bisons women’s volleyball captain Light Uchechukwu leads by example. No point is lost when she’s in the rotation, regardless of how far she has to travel to save a ball.
Uchechukwu’s work ethic is inspired by her parents, Patrick and Happiness. Lagos, Nigeria natives, they moved to Canada with Light (when she was six) and her sister in order to pursue greater opportunities for their kids.
“They sacrificed so much for me. My mom won’t buy herself anything new, or anything like that because she wants my sister and I to have it. If I’m here, I have to do all I can because they’ve sacrificed all they can for me and my sister. I love volleyball, but the most important thing for me is my education,” says Uchechukwu, a psychology major in her senior season.
“The only reason they came here was for me and my sister to get a good education. They struggled really hard for that. I have to do well, and volleyball has helped me get a nice education, which is amazing.”
She’s thrived in the sport, winning club nationals and a gold medal at the Canada Summer Games while still in high school, meeting countless friends (many of whom are teammates of hers with the Bisons) and creating lifetime memories. The support she found there, along with the tireless efforts of her parents in all other areas, inspired Uchechukwu to be her best self.
With the Bisons, her accomplishments include being named to the Canada West All-Rookie team, playing middle as well as left and right side for the team, and recording 734 kills, 499 digs and 112 blocks over the last four seasons.
Light also understands the importance of representation.
Growing up, she didn’t see many other athletes who looked like her. She hopes to be an inspiration to others, to show you can do anything you set your mind to, and that any barrier can be broken with the right attitude and support.
“Representation matters,” she notes. “Right now in CanWest I don’t know if I can count on one hand how many [Black athletes] are out there.
“It’s nice to know that I’m someone a young athlete can look up to. I’ve had aunts and uncles with their kids and they’ll always come up to me and be like ‘how do I get my daughter started in volleyball?’ It’s always great to have those conversations,” she says.
Read the full story at Go Bisons.