Athlete of the Week: Kayla Mitchell strikes rare bowling scholarship out of Alaska

AOTW: Kayla Mitchell
Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 6:04 PM AKDT
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WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) - To 18-year-old Kayla Mitchell, the bowling alley is home. Whether it was learning how to toss a ball down the lane as a 5-year-old in Germany, to joining Wasilla High School’s varsity team after moving to Alaska in 2019 — the bowling alley is home.

”It was the one thing that we went straight into, was bowling,” Mitchell said before throwing a few frames at her home alley of North Bowl in Wasilla. “Moving here, I knew nothing about Alaska, knew absolutely nothing, but went straight into the bowling alley and started bowling here. It’s the one thing that I knew I could go to here. ... It is my second home, basically, knowing I could come here, bowl, and not worry about anyone else or just getting into that mindset of staying committed to something.”

Mitchell stayed committed, and it paid off, by signing a rare bowling scholarship out of Alaska to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

While her past features a number of bowling accolades, accomplishments and achievements, Mitchell’s focus is on the future and opening up opportunities for other youth bowlers — like her younger twin sisters — and showing them it is possible to succeed in the sport. Mitchell said she hopes to become a coach, maybe even in Wasilla.

”I hope that other kids here get that experience and do get the opportunity to go collegiate and that exposure does get out here into the Valley,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell, who also excels on the soccer pitch and in the classroom, plans to study psychology.