Soccer kicks off future physician’s inspiration


Jacob Wargo

Sophomore in LAS Bishal Baskota’s passion for soccer prompted his journey to pursue medicine.

By Royal Shrestha, Staff Writer

For Bishal Baskota, sophomore in LAS, life was vastly different when he lived in Nepal. With electricity only available for a few hours of the day, Baskota played soccer to pass the time. His passion for soccer led him to wanting to become a physician. 

As a kid growing up in Nepal, a third-world country, Baskota and his friends often played street games due inaccessibility to electronics .

“Out on the streets and alleys, I often played many street games with my school friends including stone skipping, badminton, hopscotch, cricket and of course, soccer,” Baskota said. “I remember back in Nepal when electricity was available during certain hours, we used to gather around and watch the World Cup on a small TV screen.” 

Baskota described how these street games allowed him and his friends to relieve stress and forget about their challenges in life. As the years went by, he began to grow more interested in soccer and had a tightly knit group of friends with whom he could share this passion.

“The simplicity of playing soccer makes it an inclusive sport for everyone, regardless of their backgrounds, whether they are privileged or underprivileged,” Baskota said.

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In his high school years, his family immigrated to the United States in search of better opportunities for him and his education. 

Baskota described the difficult transition of learning English and adjusting to new customs in the U.S..As his college career continues, he is still adjusting to the American culture. 

Baskota slowly began to make friends as he started to play soccer with the students in his high school. At the same time, he was involved in introducing soccer to young kids in his local community. 

“While soccer was going great for me, toward the end of high school, I began to wonder what my future would look like, and what I should make out of my career,” Baskota said. 

While pursuing an Integrative Biology degree and continuing his passion for soccer by joining an intramural team, he decided to pursue a career in medicine and chose the pre-med track as it aligned with his perception of soccer.

“Two major attributes that soccer shares with pursuing medicine is the ability to create a sense of unity and compassion among each other,” Baskota said. 

Through his journey as a pre-med student, he volunteered locally in Chicago and in Champaign-Urbana for the underserved population. As he began to dedicate more of his time to his local communities, his passion for medicine increased.

“I intend to serve the underprivileged populations by getting them access to proper health care and making them feel included,” Baskota said. 

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