Kyle Kuzma is in his third season with the Los Angeles Lakers as the team’s third scoring option in a year with legitimate championship hopes.
Before that, Kuzma spent four years at the University of Utah where he was a full-time starter for three seasons after a redshirt freshman year.
This means that Kuzma who was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, has been away from his family during Christmas time for the last seven years. College players often get little to no Christmas break due to the timing of their season and the Lakers were away against the Golden State Warriors in 2018 and in Los Angeles in 2017.
However, Kuzma will finally get a chance to be with his family on Christmas with them in Los Angeles and the Lakers with a home game, something his mother Karri Kuzma is extremely grateful for, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:
“I don’t think Kyle has even had a Christmas tree since he left for prep school,” his mother, Karri Kuzma, said. “He has made a lot of sacrifices to get where he is. So, it will be special just to give him a special holiday of family and togetherness.
Kuzma also said he was happy about being able to give his mother the gift of sharing Christmas together, something they haven’t done since he was 17-years-old:
“It means a lot,” Kuzma said. “It’s cool for me because out of any Christmas gift I could give my mom, just being here in L.A. sharing Christmas with her, that’s the best thing that she could ask for.”
It’s a wonderful story that Kuzma will finally get to be with his mother on Christmas Day after all these years and it’s a reminder about the human element of professional sports in general.
Fans often forget the amount of real life these players miss in order to do what they do at such an elite level. Stories like this give those fans something to relate to and think about when they discuss players like Kuzma.