Western Albemarle’s Luke Kielbasa honored by the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 4:11 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Western Albemarle High School’s Luke Kielbasa is one of just five kids in the Commonwealth to be honored by the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame for its Student Athlete of the Year award.

Right now, Luke is getting ready for another tennis season at Western Albemarle. The senior has helped lead the Warriors to the state championship in each season he’s played.

“I started out with baseball at a pretty young age. Around nine I switched to tennis. My dad played when he was younger, he got me into the game, came out and hit with me every weekend,” Luke said. “We have an amazing group of guys, winning with them each year is special.”

Luke is the captain of the team, and now is like an assistant coach.

“He’s so enthusiastic and just so genuine in his sincerity in wanting to help his teammates get better,” Coach Randy Hudgins said.

In the classroom, Luke is a straight-A student with a 4.6 GPA. He’s also spent hundreds of hours doing volunteer work, including teaching tennis to Special Olympic athletes.

“Not only do I get to help, but I get to give back to the sport. I have the honor to teach these people and it makes me better too,” Luke said.

Last month, Luke was honored with the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame’s Student Athlete of the Year award and earned scholarship money for college. He was chosen over hundreds of other strong contenders.

“He went around and talked to everyone who was involved in the ceremony and spent some time with them and thank them. He’s beyond his years in knowing how to express your gratitude,” Coach Hudgins said.

Academically, Luke is interested in surgery and medicine, specifically in prosthetics and paralysis work.

“I’ve just always been interested in the nervous system and paralysis. It’s been a curious thing for me. I enjoy the idea of kids like me and younger, perhaps weren’t born with all their limbs, I want to create something equal for them no matter what sport they’re playing, no matter what they’re doing in school, and have the best chance to succeed,” Luke said.

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