Humans of K: Mark Ghafari, Student Athlete

By Mallika Mitra

Humans of K: Mark Ghafari

You may have heard of Mark Ghafari’14 as the shooting guard for the Kalamazoo College men’s basketball team, but there is a lot more to the star athlete than many of us know, such as his love for cooking and reading the Wall Street Journal. The friendly K Senior, who is from Grosse Point, Michigan and attended University of Liggett for high school, recently ended his last basketball season at K.

“Being a student athlete anywhere is a really big time commitment,” Mark said. He calculated that he spends an average of 30 hours a week during the season doing basketball-related things, including being in the gym and training room, watching films with the team, and traveling to and from away games.

After graduation, he plans to play professional basketball in Lebanon, where both of his parents were born and raised.

“I’m very excited about it,” he said.

As an Economics Major, Mark was able to combine his interests in economics and athletics for his Senior Individualized Project, which consisted of research on the economic impacts of hosting the Summer Olympics, including a case study of the 1996 games in Atlanta.

During his junior year, Mark was a career associate at the Center for Career and Professional Development at K and is currently one of the president’s student ambassadors. In the past, Mark was involved with the athletic leadership council and K Crew. During his time at K, he interned at the Eaton Corporation and studied abroad in Strasbourg, France for three months.

“I like to cook,” Mark said when asked what he likes to do in his free time. He was planning to have the basketball team over later in the day for a cook out.

Mark enjoys watching ESPN and the Food Network, and will occasionally watch TV series, including Game of Thrones. He also enjoys doing light reading, such as the Wall Street Journal.

Mark brightened up while talking about his brother Carl Ghafari ’15, who is a junior at K and one of Mark’s teammates.

“I have a great relationship with him,” Mark said, explaining that the two played three sports together in high school and have similar interests.

“We have a chemistry on the court that you can’t teach or replicate,” he said about playing basketball with Carl at K.

Mark also has a sister who is currently a junior in high school and considering coming to K.

“She’s probably the smartest among the three of us,” Mark said, smiling.

Mark said his favorite Professor at K is Dr. Timothy Moffit of the Economics and Business Department.

“He’s been really influential of my experience at K,” Mark said.

 

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