Washington Union senior Sydney Kuma is one of those special athletes that doesn’t come around very often.
“I don’t know what I would do without playing sports,” said Kuma.
She’s really good at a lot of them.
This fall, she was a standout player on the Panthers volleyball team that won a state championship.
During the winter season, she averaged over a goal a game on their valley championship-winning soccer team, while at the same time, averaging nearly 9 points, nearly 6 rebounds and 3 steals per game for the Washington Union girls basketball squad.
And then there’s softball.
“I fell in love with the sport since I was young, and it just carried on,” said Kuma. “As I got older, I excelled in it.”
That might be an understatement.
According to Maxpreps.com, entering this past week, Kuma was hitting nearly .600, with 27 homers, 31 doubles and 10 triples, in a high school career that saw her spend two years at Caruthers before transferring to Washington Union.
And that’s just when opponents give her something to hit, because in her career, she’s also averaging over a walk per game, and scoring an average of nearly 1 1/2 runs per contest.
Believe the hype, says Washington Union first-year softball coach Paige Gumz.
“She’s got speed. She’s got strength. She’s got a great softball IQ,” said Gumz.
Gumz was a former two-time Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year as a catcher at Fresno State, and was immediately impressed by Kuma when she became her high school head coach.
“I heard she was a stud athlete, and I wanted to make my own opinion,” said Gumz. “And she got out there, and the first rep I saw, I said, ‘man this kid’s a stud for sure.'”
The University of Georgia agrees.
The SEC softball power offered Sydney a scholarship two years ago as a sophomore, and Kuma signed with the Bulldogs in November.
“My parents of course, they were thrilled, because they had put in so much work in getting me to travel (ball), getting me to practices, and it’s blessing,” said Kuma about being able to play in college at Georgia.
Of course, with softball returning to the Olympics in 2020, maybe one day, Sydney’s red, white and black Georgia uniform might even be replaced by the red, white and blue of Team USA.
“Oh, that’s like a lifetime goal right there,” said Kuma.