The Australian Open has now started, and not just started, but with partly filled stadiums and therefore a lot of ambiance during the matches! A good start for the sports year of 2021, because every sports fan prefers to watch matches where, in addition to the match, you can also enjoy a nice atmosphere with many fans. If you have read a University Spotlight before, you know that those goosebumps moments can not only be felt at the highest level, but also at College Sports.

That’s why this week we’re going to talk about a beautiful university in Florida: Saint Leo University. We do this not only because it is a great university, but also because two of our slamstox tennis players are working hard over there. And we are proud of that! They are part of one of the best tennis teams in their division: a recipe for enough goosebumps moments! In this spotlight you can read more about Saint Leo University, Willem van den Akker and Kayne Trustfull.

Willem van den Akker (earlier he was part of our Senior Spotlight and he made a cool Around and About video for our Youtube channel) makes the most of his time as a student athlete at Saint Leo University. Last year in May, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Sport Business. Due to the corona measures in 2020, Willem received an extra year eligibilty, and this champ is only too happy to take advantage of that! He is allowed to play tennis for the team for an extra year and is now doing a Master degree in Data Analytics. Go Willem!

Willem has experienced many beautiful things in his four years at Saint Leo, both on and off the tennis court. In his second year, he became the second best doubles duo, along with Jaime Bueno, in the Sunshine State Conference. In the years that followed, he continued to play an important role in the performance of the team, and that did not go unnoticed. For that reason Willem was appointed as team captain last year!

Earlier, in the Senior Spotlight, we asked Willem what he would like to say to future student athletes. He gave the following nice answer to this – so, future student athletes: take in the words below from this expert!

“All things you expierence during four years of sports and study in America are crucial in your development as a person. You become world-wise, get to know yourself better and you learn how to deal with people from different countries. In addition, you make so many beautiful and special memories that you will never forget and that you can cherish for the rest of your life.”

Willem van den Akker – Senior student-athlete

Besides Willem, we were able to work with another great tennis player: Kayne Trustfull! Kayne was previously part of the ‘Tigers’ at Riverside City in California, where Kayne was named ‘All-American’ and ‘Player of the Year’ of the Orange County. What a champ!

In August 2019, Kayne made the transfer to Saint Leo University, by this he transformed from Tiger to Lion! Kayne’s sports talent doesn’t come from a stranger. His dad, Orlando Trustfull, played in the Dutch Eredivisie and coached, together with Frank de Boer, MLS-club Atlanta United FC.

Kayne’s adventure at Saint Leo has only just begun, the future promises a lot more for this tennis talent. So to be continued … Earlier we asked Kayne to tell something about his time as a student athlete in the USA so far. He told us the following:

“It is a very special and amazing feeling to fight with a group of friends for the same goals.”

Kayne Trustfull – Student-Athlete

We often get it back from college tennis players: in College Tennis, tennis is really becoming a team sport, and that makes it extra special. Go Lions!

Would you like to know more about the University of Kayne and Willem in Florida? Keep reading!


With the current Siberian temperatures, snow dunes and gusts of wind in the Netherlands, you may prefer us not to say this, but the weather is always nice on the campus of Saint Leo University. The campus is located in Saint Leo, in the middle of The Sunshine State of the USA – Florida! It is an average of 25 degrees, which is why Florida serves as the perfect spot for winter vacations. So, one way ticket to Florida then?

You probably already get a summer feeling when you see the photo below. The blue sky and beautiful palm trees betray that this must be Saint Leo!

Campus of Saint Leo University

Saint Leo is a private university that was founded in 1889. Around 11,800 students follow courses at Saint Leo every year, most of which follow the course online.

Not only the sunny weather makes Saint Leo a nice place to live, there is a lot of fun to do in the area. A 10-minute drive from the campus you will find ‘Downtown Dade City’, a small town with lots to do. Nice shops, restaurants, you can go bowling, go to the movies and you can eat ‘fried alligator’. Really? Yes really! For that you have to go to ‘KafĂ© Kokopelli’. Have you been there before, Kayne and Willem?
Students who are more interested in the ‘Big City’ can be in Tampa within 30-45 minutes. You can find everything in Tampa: the most beautiful shops, tastiest restaurants and, certainly not unimportant for students: great internships at the largest and coolest companies!
If students really want a day off and are looking forward to a lot of fun, there is a lot of entertainment within an hour drive from the campus. Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios: it can all be found in Orlando! But also beautiful white beaches, jet skiing, parasailing, broadway shows, fishing from the pier or camping under the stars: Florida baby !!

Orlando, Florida

The university has 60 different clubs on campus that organize all kinds of different activities. In total, 70% of all students, in addition to current school and sports activities, are also members of such a club. In this way, the university wants to ensure that every student has enough fun things to do during their stay on campus. Experience shows that student athletes are often busy enough and therefore do not have time for student associations. Well, for a party here and there, they certainly do ..!

Because Saint Leo University considers it important that everyone can find a suitable place on campus, they have a beautiful motto that is central to everything they do:

“You will love the person you become here”

Want to see more of the campus? Then watch the around and about video that Willem made in 2019 below!

Want to see more Around and About videos? Check our Youtube channel!


The Lions, that’s what the student athletes at Saint Leo are called. There are 9 men’s and 12 women’s teams competing within the Sunshine State Conference in Division II. The university colors are, as you may have noticed, green and gold / yellow. In addition to the fans, the Lions are also encouraged by ‘Fritz’ during their matches!

Fritz – The Saint Leo Lions Mascot!

Those goosebumps moments, the special sports mentality and tennis as a team sport: the video below shows it. It is a video of Kayne and Willem’s tennis team, a ‘Pre-Match Hype Up’, so getting the team ready for battle!

Goosebumps right?!

The tennis team of which Kayne and Willem are part performs very well. They have already won three ‘Conference Titles’ in the last five years, have participated a total of 8 (!) times in the regional and national NCAA tournament since 2011, where they finished 2nd in 2016. The team also has 17 ‘All-American’ titles to their name since 2013. Go Lions !!

Men’s Tennis Team – With Kayne and Willem!

Saint Leo wants the best for its student athletes and uses a number of great facilities:

One of them is the ‘Bowman Center Arena’, where basketball and volleyball matches are held. There is seating for 1500 spectators.

Bowman Center Arena

Florida is known for having many beautiful golf courses, and so does Saint Leo University. The ‘Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club’ looks great. But um, be careful that no alligators are paddling in the water while playing golf ?!

Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club

This and way more. Want to see more? Check out the facilities page on the Lions athletics website!


The Lions also study, without doing a study you are of course not a student athlete. Saint Leo University is considered one of the ‘Top Ranked Universities’ in Florida.

About 50 different courses and programs are offered in all kinds of different directions. The following categories are distinguished from each other:

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education & Social Services
  • College of Health Professions

Do you want to know if the study program you would like to do is offered at this university? Check out here.

Do you want to become a student athlete in the USA, just like Kayne and Willem? Or would you like more information? Reach out & we help you!