Carlos Costa

Carlos Costa
Carlos Costa moved to UVic from Brazil to study in 2018

Twist of fate

"If you had told me at 12-years-old that one day I would be attending university and playing basketball in Canada," Carlos says, shooting another free throw, "I would have told you only in my dreams."

Carlos grew up in a suburb of one of Brazil's largest cities. It was a teacher who introduced him to basketball during middle school. "I think they thought my height would be an advantage," he says, as he walks to the bench for a sip of water.

Call it a twist of fate or meant to be, but Carlos thrived in the sport, and it got him noticed. He was recruited to play for the Vikes Men's Basketball team in 2018.

"In Brazil, there aren't the same opportunities for sports and education," he explains. "So, when I received the call from UVic, I couldn't believe it."

Finding support at UVic

There was a challenge Carlos had to face though: paying international tuition is not something his family could afford.

"My parents always instilled in me that education was essential so I knew I had to figure out a way to make it work," says Carlos.

That's when another twist of fate came into play.

Carlos says he remembers the moment he opened the email telling him he received the Hunter Family Athletic Award to help with tuition.


Carlos Costa plays basketball for the Vikes
Credit: AP

"Words cannot express how grateful I was: still am," Carlos says. "It overwhelms me that people are willing to support someone they have never met."

The award was the extra help Carlos needed to ease the financial burden of tuition and living abroad.

Now in his second year at UVic, Carlos feels at home. He not only considers his teammates and coaches like family but has found support from his professors and classmates.

"I enjoy how diverse the campus is and that it represents cultures from around the world," says Carlos. "It allows an international student like me to feel comfortable while also learning about many other cultures."

Paying it forward

Carlos is studying economics in hopes of helping Brazil's economy grow and thrive. "There are so many applications of economics that can help make the world a better place for all us," he explains.

As he picks up his bag to leave the gym and head to class, he waves to two of his teammates who were there shooting hoops with him.

"Playing basketball with the Vikes has truly changed my life, he says. "Every day, I strive to make sure I use the blessings and support from donors I've received to pay it forward and make an impact on the world."

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