Lucas Henseler, ASU Prep Digital Scholar and Soccer Star
ASU Prep Digital student Lucas Henseler is originally from sunny San Diego, California, and enjoyed the advantages of our rigorous online platform to spend his last school year in Berlin, Germany playing for International Soccer Academy‘s Integrated Academy U17 team at the Bundesliga soccer club Hertha Berlin. International Soccer Academy provides elite youth soccer players from all across North America the opportunity to live, train and play soccer in a professional environment.
With the help of ASU Prep Digital’s flexible curriculum, the 16 year old has successfully balanced academic excellence with a burgeoning soccer career. His goal is to gain the training and attention required to play for a European “football” club and this program prepares top players for professional opportunities.
Lucas, #7, is a Center Back on his Hertha Berlin’s academy team and has been an impact player all year. Lucas and his teammates lived at the Berlin Football Association where they complete their respective online school work, eat and sleep between twice-daily soccer training sessions, plus games.
It Takes Motivation
When asked about balancing his ASU Prep Digital schoolwork, his intense soccer schedule, as well as living in another country away from family, Lucas explains, “In the end, it takes motivation, you got to be willing to put in the work. And for me, I really like to think about my dream of becoming a professional soccer player at the highest level, so I use this to drive me to make sure everything that I do is well organized and in high shape.”
“…I really like to think about my dream of becoming a professional soccer player at the highest level, so I use this to drive me to make sure everything that I do is well organized and in high shape.”
It’s that mentality that motivates Lucas to maintain all A’s even though he admits school is not his favorite. He likes that ASU Prep Digital schoolwork is dispersed throughout the week so that he can complete assignments while also focusing on making his soccer dream a reality. Lucas explains that players are expected to get their school work done during study hall hours in the classroom or during their free time, and that many student athletes like to do so from the comfort of their rooms. Turns out, Lucas’ teammate and roommate Hugh Eaton is also an ASU Prep Digital classmate; they’re in the same English class and both call Southern California home!
Taking it to the Next Level
Lucas’ biggest takeaway from this experience so far has been the opportunity to play an elevated standard of soccer. He emphasizes, “I’ve gotten to experience the level of soccer in Germany and how good you have to be if you want to make it in Europe as a professional. You work harder, way harder, because the level of soccer for a 17 year old in Berlin is way higher than it is in America.”
Despite the cold and cloudy climate, a language barrier, and not-so-great food at the hotel, Lucas is adamant, “No regrets, no mistakes.” He says, “I came here knowing that I needed to get better so I can make my dream come true. That was the purpose and I got that.”
“I came here knowing that I needed to get better so I can make my dream come true. That was the purpose and I got that.”
Lucas will return to Germany in September to join the Integrated Academy team at FC Schalke 04 continuing both his soccer training as well as his education through ASU Prep Digital. For now, he looks forward to heading home for the summer not to rest and chill at the beach, but to reunite with his hometown coaches and trainers to practice and share what he has learned.