Junior Ondrej Gargula wanted to move from the Czech Republic for college, hoping to play basketball in the States, so he jumped at the opportunity when he was recruited by Head Coach Todd Duncan for the LCU men’s basketball team.

After two years of playing for the basketball team, Gargula no longer re athletic scholarship money. Instead of continuing on the court, Gargula decided to get involved around campus, finding ways to pursue his education at LCU despite the loss of scholarship money.

“I just love LCU. My parents even told me to stay here because they knew I love the school. And I have a lot of people supporting me,” said Gargula.

In addition to the support of his friends and family, Gargula works hard to maintain scholarships and pay for school. He began a job as a student worker for the School of Business; he started as an RA in the Mabee Living Center; he works as a tutor and with the maintenance team on campus. On top of his work, Gargula is taking 15 hours of classes and is pledging Koinonia. He also hopes to participate in Master Follies and LCU Washington.

As an economics major with a minor in digital media arts, the job in the School of Business particularly appeals to him: “I can really see myself growing professionally in the School of Business.”

Gargula faces a few disadvantages in the States, like not having a car. His sophomore year, he considered getting a moped to help him get around, but a friend jokingly warned him he could either have a moped or a girlfriend.

“I chose the girlfriend, but it’s a big struggle not to have a car,” Gargula laughed. “But people always help, so it’s not a problem.”

In addition to growing professionally and academically, Gargula has grown spiritually since coming to LCU. After an impactful Christian Heritage class with Dr. Jeff Cary (’95) and bible studies with Dr. Kenneth Stephenson (’86), Gargula chose to be baptized in the Fountains on the Mall at the end of his sophomore year. He now attends Greenlawn Church of Christ.

Ondrej Gargula was transformed by his LCU experience, just as transformation happens consistently in students across campus as they transition to the next stage of their lives.