Story by JP Pollard.

Anthony Kardosh, a sophomore studying political science, plays for the Knights in the BYU-Idaho competitive basketball league.

Basketball and religion are important aspects of Kardosh’s life. He joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Sept. 6, 2014.

“I had a bunch of friends in high school who were members,” Kardosh said. “I started going to church, listening to their talks and kept going for about a year.”

Kardosh said that one of many things that kept him attending church was the righteous examples of his friends.

“Being around them made me a better person, and I stayed away from doing bad things, and we did wholesome things together,” Kardosh said. “They were real good examples to me. They lived to higher standards.”

He said he that he began to take after some of the characteristics of his friends, and he started thinking about joining the Church.

Kardosh said that learning line upon line and taking one step at a time eventually brought curiosity to his mind.

“One day I went to a gospel essential class, and there was baptism written on the board, and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s a big sign I should join the Church, I guess’,” Kardosh said.

Before attending BYU-I, Kardosh attended a community college that lacked a positive spiritual environment.

“Going to a community college wasn’t spiritually safe,” Kardosh said. It didn’t help me grow.”

His girlfriend told him how she was growing spiritually here at BYU-I.

“I applied just to see what would happen if I got in and I did,” Kardosh said. “It was the best decision for me.”

Besides his friendships, basketball has also helped Kardosh move in the right direction.

“Basketball to me is really just a vehicle,” Kardosh said. “It has gotten me from place to place. Basketball has definitely taught me patience, working well in a group setting, how to be a good leader and has been a good way to     meet friends.”

Kardosh has not only learned from great examples but has been a great example to others.

Cameron Beckert, Kardosh’s coach and a sophomore studying biology, said he has seen Kardosh’s example and skills resonate on and off the court.

“Anthony is probably the best shot blocker at the rim in the entire league,” Beckert said. “I have full confidence in his defense. He is easygoing, and his teammates enjoy having him around.”

Kardosh and Beckert’s relationship goes beyond the usual relationship that players and coaches have with each other.

“He is a good friend,” Beckert said. “I enjoy his personality and attitude.        

He has what I want to see in a player and friend.”

The Knights started their season 1-1. Their next game is Feb. 20 against the Spartans at noon in the John W. Hart Building.