Isaiah Wilkins is from Lilburn, Georgia and a third year member of the Men’s Basketball team. A standout forward for the ‘Hoos, Isaiah has taken full advantage of the opportunities available for UVA student-athletes both in the classroom and on the court. This past August, Isaiah and his teammates traveled to Spain for a ten-day trip that included competing against other teams, but also exploring the country and bonding as a team. With six new teammates, the trip set a new team dynamic for the season ahead. Isaiah said, “The trip was a crazy experience. We traveled all over Spain exploring and playing a couple teams from different parts of the country. One of my favorite memories of the trip was the team’s sailing adventure on a catamaran.” Following ten full days of swimming, zip lining, playing basketball, and just hanging out together, the basketball team returned to Charlottesville ready for the start of a new season.
Isaiah is an African-American Studies major and enjoys the classes where, “We get to have open discussion about the world and I am able to hear different perspectives on how people interpret it.” Depending on when he has class, Isaiah wakes up between 5:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. and heads to JPJA for a lift session. He described the rest of the day by saying, “Next comes class, and then around 1-2 p.m. we go back to JPJA to get our ankles taped and start stretching for practice. Practice will last for about two hours and afterward we complete our homework assignments and get ready to do it all over again the next day.”
In between a busy schedule of classes and practices, Isaiah makes it a priority to give back to the Charlottesville community whether with his team or individually. On his own time, Isaiah has volunteered as a tutor at Charlottesville High School and various elementary schools in the area. He believes, “It’s important to get involved with Charlottesville as a community. They support us and I feel like it’s essential that we give back. We’re a family.”
The 2016-2017 recipient of The Leighton and Anne Rawles Huske Men’s Basketball Endowed Scholarship, Isaiah is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be a student-athlete at UVA. An experience he believes, “Has bettered me as a person because we’re held to such a high standard here. The coaches and staff are dedicated to helping us on and off the court and taking initiative to help us plan for our future.” In addition, Isaiah would like to thank all VAF donors for their support. When asked what this support has meant to him, Isaiah said, “Your contributions allow me and countless others to expand, learn, and play the sport we love for a prestigious University. Without you none of this would be possible. You really are changing lives.”
Donor contributions to the VAF Annual Fund support student-athletes such as Isaiah in many ways including scholarships, the Athletics Academic Affairs program and sport-specific operational budgets.