2022’s James Kavouklis brings physicality to both ends of the floor | Youth1

2022’s James Kavouklis brings physicality to both ends of the floor

James Kavouklis is one of the best players from the Tampa, FL area in the Class of 2022.  


The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Kavouklis, who attends Berkeley Prep, is an imposing player that works as a center and forward. 


Kavouklis has earned plenty of recognition during his career, such as USSAA National Tournament MVP and Berkeley Prep JV Offensive MVP. 


Kavouklis is humbled by the recognition. 


“They are a reflection of the hard work I have put into sports and basketball,” Kavouklis said. “It was an unforgettable experience being able to compete and play against some of the best talents there is.”


No matter the opponent, every game Kavouklis is determined to give it his all. 


Kavouklis is going all out. 


The motor is always at full throttle whenever Kavouklis steps between the lines.


“My mindset at power forward is that I need to command the court. I must see everything on defense and be able to make call-outs to my teammates. I know that I bring the energy to the court and play tough and physical offense and defense,” Kavouklis said. “I put myself in positions to box out successfully on defense to get the ball back and keep plays alive on offense by reading the ball once it is shot to get the most rebounds possible.”


Kavouklis has great passion and energy whenever he’s on the court. Kavouklis tells why he enjoys the game of basketball so much. 


“The thing I love the most about playing is the competitive nature of sports and the bonds you build with your teammates,” Kavouklis said. 


Kavouklis has learned many valuable lessons from playing basketball that he applies to his everyday life. 


“Playing has taught me that no matter what I do if I do it hard and give it my all I will not fail in anything,” Kavouklis said. “Even if I don’t get the results I want every time I will still be able to learn from it.”


Kavouklis shares his favorite memory of playing basketball. 


“My favorite memory of playing was during my freshman year at Berkeley during what we call the Headmasters Challenge. It is when we play our rival school in all winter sports during one weekend and the basketball game is always the most hyped one. Almost the whole school goes and freshman year we had the home court. Every bucket you hear roars from the crowd and you know that during that moment all the middle schoolers and elementary school kids are looking up to you,” Kavouklis said. “My team ended up winning by about twenty points and it was such a great experience for me because I have not played in another game that has been able to match the energy in the gym of that one.”


Kavouklis takes his role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Kavouklis makes sure he’s a daily positive influence on his peers.


“I demonstrate being a good teammate by setting an example of how hard to work. Whether it is a practice or a game I come out with one-hundred percent and play hard until it is over. I push my teammates to play on the same level as me and that makes the team better,” Kavouklis said. “The best advice I have given my teammates is that we need to trust in each other. When we play together and unselfish there isn’t a team that we can’t beat. Everyone knows how to shoot and everyone knows how to dribble but it’s the teams that know how to come together that are the special ones.”


Kavouklis is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.


“My coaches have taught me that I need to work hard in everything I do. No one is going to give you anything for free and if you want something like more playing time or the starting position you have to go out there and show them why you deserve it. These lessons can apply to anything you do in life, not just basketball. If you want to get into the college of your dreams or your dream job you have to work hard in school and earn it for yourself. You have to be willing to put in the hours of work that no one wants to do in order to have the rewards that everyone wants,” Kavouklis said. “The best advice I have ever gotten from a coach is to play hard because you never know who's watching.”


Kavouklis patterns his play after these standouts. 

“Growing up I was called Charles Barkley or Kevin Love because my coaches thought my playing style was the same as theirs,” Kavouklis said. “That has caused them to become some of my favorite players.”

Kavouklis lists history as his favorite subject in school.  


“I have always liked learning about the past and what events have helped shape the world,” Kavouklis said. “I find history to be a fascinating subject because being able to see the progress and advancement of technology and humanity is very interesting and I like being able to know that one day I could be in the history books too.”


Kavouklis explains his collegiate aspirations. 


“My dream college is Florida State,” Kavouklis said. “Both of my parents went there and that is where they met so I have been a huge Seminoles fan my whole life.”


Kavouklis is striving for greatness in all that he does. 


“My goals on and off the court are to never leave anything I do feeling unsatisfied. I try to give everything I can during games and I want to always be able to say I gave it my all,” Kavouklis said. “I never want to look back at something and say that I could have done more or that I didn’t put my best effort into it.”



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