CUNY Spotlight: Kayla Wilson's Hard Work Earns Her Scholarship to St. Bonaventure


Kayla Wilson, a six-foot forward from East New York, helped lead the Hostos Community College Caimans to the 2018 NJCAA Division III National Championship in women’s basketball. Along the way, she earned Player of the Year and tournament Most Valuable Player honors at the conference, regional and national levels.

On November 20, Kayla signed with St. Bonaventure University, a Division I school in the Atlantic 10 Conference in Olean, N.Y., to play next year on full athletic scholarship.

“I always dreamed of playing for a Division I school, but I never thought I’d get the chance,” she said.

Kayla said she chose St. Bonaventure because it has a good business program. She added that because it is not a huge school, this “will help me stay focused.”

Her journey has been a difficult one, though. She began to play basketball when she was only six but didn’t join a school team until her freshman year at East New York Family Academy High School.

Then, things got rough.

The death of her grandfather that year weighed heavily upon her and her family. She was struggling to find herself, and, with everyone going on in her life, she was unable to play in tenth grade.

Seeking a fresh start, she transferred to Canarsie High School for 11th grade, but she registered too late to be eligible for the team.

The following summer, while playing on a team sponsored by New Heights Youth, a sports-based youth-development and educational non-profit, she tore her ACL and meniscus. That caused her to miss out on playing as a senior.