TOPEKA (KSNT) — A Topeka teen is making his way to college with a sports scholarship, but not for contact sports.
With pen to paper, Kalor Hasenkamp is on his way to Highland Community College to be the first person from Seaman High School to get a scholarship to play esports, a form of competition using video games.
“To be the first one, I really want to leave a legacy,” Hasenkamp said. “A good name on the esports brand and really prove myself. And start a program that will be very successful.”
Like all kids, Hasenkamp has been playing games since he was young, starting on what some may consider a now retro Nintendo.
“On their first electronic thing is the DS,” Debi Studdard said, Hasenkamp’s grandma. “That’s where it all started. From then on we went to the Xbox. Then we went to the computers. And I’ve always griped at him for playing too many video games.”
Studdard always wanted him to get outside and play and not on video games all the time. So he played football, eventually joining the Seaman High School team. But gaming never slipped away from him.
“Improving myself, improving my mechanical skills as a gamer, and staying on a grind of playing and consistency,” he said.
After getting in contact with esports coaches at Highland Community College, he finally got the call he was getting a scholarship. It was something his grandma is definitely on board with.
“For the first two years, he’s getting a free education through esports, which I thought would never happen,” she said. “I mean, yeah, it happens to the big kids that make the millions, not my grandson. But it did. So I am on camera today saying I was wrong! Esports is the way to go because it’s paying for two years of his college!”
As for other kids, Hasenkamp wants to set an example: if you love video games stick with it because you never know where it will take you.
“Let them play,” he said for his message to parents with kids who enjoy gaming. “Let them practice. The only way they can get better is to play.”
The team won’t just be about video games, the players will also be required to lift weights and do conditioning, as well as having their grades monitored by the coach.