Meet Tuana Coşkun '23! Tuana is an active member of the community and a standout player on the Girls Varsity Basketball team. She is a boarding student from Istanbul, Turkey and this is her first year at Rabun Gap. In her first year here, Tuana has found a home at Rabun Gap and flourishes on and off the court.
Why did you choose to attend Rabun Gap? I chose to attend Rabun Gap because in the future, I want to be a professional basketball player and I think that Rabun Gap is the place where I can be at a high level academically and athletically. I can successfully do both at the same time.
What makes Rabun Gap special to you? Rabun Gap is special to me because here you feel like you are in a family. You never feel alone, everyone is smiling and wants to help you. You can always feel yourself in the Rabun Gap community.
What is your favorite memory from Rabun Gap so far? My favorite memory was when I was in basketball pre-season, I had my first talk with college coaches. The happiness was very special to me when Coach Earnhardt first told me this news.
What do you enjoy most about playing basketball here and what has been your favorite part of this season? Playing basketball here is very special for me because my dream since I was little was to continue my education and play basketball in America and it came true. All of my teammates and coaches here have always trusted and supported me. The best part of playing basketball in Rabun Gap is the home games because our student section comes to every game and supports us until the end and gives us a different energy.
What do you like most about your extracurriculars? Outside of classes, I love to play basketball, but outside of basketball, I usually enjoy sitting with my friends and chatting with them, or doing an activity with my friends, playing volleyball, sitting at the porch and watching something.
What is your favorite class and why? My favorite class is American Studies because I've always been interested in learning new things about history and we learn a lot of new things to write essays and thesis at university. Thanks to my teacher Coach Wright, I have learned a lot of new things and our lessons are always very fun and active.
What do you enjoy most about being a boarding student? I love being a boarding student because even though you are far from your family, friendship helps you a lot here. We are all together after school. We spend time together and everyone who is boarding is in close contact with each other. We do activities together at the dorm, in the evenings we watch movies and we chat at the same time. It's best for me to go to the Backlot in the morning and train, and also get together with our friends and play basketball or weightlifting in the morning. We have friends from almost all nationalities, we learn new cultures and we make friendships that we will always stay in touch with in the future.
Which Rabun Gap teachers and/or coaches have had the biggest impact on you during your time here? Before I came here, I did online school and Coach Willard, he was my humanities teacher, helped me a lot because being an online student was hard. Everyday he always tried to teach me everything and helped me to understand how education is in the US before I came here. Coach Earnhardt is my basketball coach and he is always in touch with us inside or outside of training, always trying to teach us new things, introducing us to university coaches, and helping us make good decisions for our future. Actually, our all coaches have had the biggest impact on me; Coach Barnes, Coach Hope, Coach Neiswender. Everyone in this community always trying to help you to become the best version of yourself.
What advice would you give another student who is interested in boarding and attending Rabun Gap? Even though you will be separated from your family and friends, care is shown here as if you will feel at home, especially in Rabun Gap and going to the boarding school, I think it helps us to do what we can do on our own, to be more confident, and you can make friendships that will never be broken.
Which interests do you pursue outside of the classroom? For me, the thing that I am most interested in after classes is basketball and whenever I have free time, I always try to work even if I am alone.
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is a private, coeducational day and boarding school for grades Pre-K through 12. Centrally located between Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC, we prepare young people for college, career, and a lifetime of leadership and service.