Athlete profile: Ernesto Kuhl

Jayden Jones, Staff Writer

Earning a coveted spot on a sports team is no easy task — just ask senior Ernesto Kuhl. After three years of being cut from the basketball roster, Kuhl finally made the team his senior year.
Kuhl has participated in conditioning and has tried out for the basketball team each year since his freshman year, only to scan the roster and face the disappointment of not finding his number listed.
Still, he persisted.
Starting off as a street-baller in his freshman year, Kuhl says he slowly but surely honed his skills as a player and team member each year, eventually leading to a spot on the team as a point and shooting guard.
“I learned to see that no matter what happens, I was going to come out of [tryouts] better than I did coming into it,” Kuhl said.
At every conditioning and ball practice, Kuhl said he pushed himself and others around him. If he saw someone on the team struggling, fatigued or anxious, he learned his peers’ names, picked them up, ran alongside them, cheered them on, and constantly kept positive energy during practice — even though he wasn’t sure himself that he would make the team. Kuhl says he wanted to be a role model and a brother for his fellow teammates during conditioning — especially for the younger players.
“I didn’t know these guys at first,” Kuhl said. “All I knew was that they’re younger than me, and they’re in a position that I was in a year or two ago: anxious about if they’re going to make the team or not. I wish someone would’ve acted like a brother and guided me.”
Although Kuhl says he is a student athlete first, he has begun to increase his influence through other means, such as coaching and training. His tireless and persistent work ethic not only shows on the court, but in his nascent business Project Work — a work and fitness brand Kuhl founded in January of last year.
The business is comprised of a community of those practicing to improve work mentality. Kuhl provides information and advice to those in need of guidance or motivation, sells merchandise and gives out workout plans — designed and specialized for each individual consumer’s goals — for those who are serious about using physical activity to benefit themselves physically and mentally. Kuhl’s clientele consists of people of various interests and capabilities — from barbers to skateboarders to athletes and anyone in between who wants to make a change for themselves.
“The program has improved my body, form, and most importantly my mental health, and inspired me to work out to my full potential,” senior Fantee Thao said.
Although Kuhl is fairly new to the business world, he says he is taking steps to improve his business skills.
“There’s two sides of it: the business side and the experience side,” Kuhl said. “Even if I don’t have the experience yet, I’m taking notes in my entrepreneur class and in my own time, absorbing everything I learn from being on the basketball team in order to acquire those skills I need to succeed.”
Kuhl says he hopes to earn a certificate to be a strength and conditioning coach and eventually open up a gym to train athletes from high school to the professional level.