ABI SAYS GOODBYE TO THE EAGLES
Abiola Akintola walked into Diamond Valley Stadium as a bottom aged U/12 boy with eyes wide open and a desire to play basketball. 6 years later, he is off to the Australian Institute of Sport to start the next phase of his career. Alan McAughtry sat down with Abi for a brief chat before he left.
Q . Abi, you are about to embarkark on the next phase of your career and it doesn't seem that long ago that I watched you walk into DV as a bottom aged U/12 boy. When you think of DV Basketball, what springs to mind ?
A great environment where you can learn a lot. Great team spirit, with great families involved. Diamond valley is a fun club.
Q . There have been many highlights along the way including U/ 14 Nationals, U/ 16 finals, State selection, U/17 National selection. What is your favourite moment ?
Abi.....My favourite moment would have to be representing australia in the u/17 final Oceania tournament. That was an experience that I was very lucky to have and will always remember.
Q . Most people have support and with sportsmen & women it takes alot to allow you to achieve these things that you have over your time at DV, who has had the most influence on you up until now ?
Robbie coulter has definitely had a massive impact on me as a player. He was my coach for five rep seasons and I have learnt a lot from him. Also the support from Al McAughtry, and the other coaches at Diamond Valley Association.Ross Wignall & the NITP program has helped me along the way. My parents have also been a great support for me.
All of the teammates that I have had have made my time at Diamond Valley as enjoyable as possible, They have been a big part of my journey
Q . Abi, your final thoughts on heading to the AIS, NITP program and DV Basketball ?
Abi.....Heading to the AIS has always been a goal of mine, hopefully it is a step in the right direction.
“Abi has had a celebrated career at Diamond Valley and has achieved a lot over the past 6 years. He arrived as a kid who looked a little apprehensive but just wanted to play, I remember seeing him walking past the U/14 trial courts, I thought this is interesting he could help the team, he went past the bottom aged U/14 courts and I thought, ooh, he is bottom age, then he wandered into the U/12 courts and I just about dropped my coffee. Only to find out he was a bottom aged 12s player.
It was fair to say the coaches headed up by Rob Coulter, were extremely pleased, little did they know it was relationship that would go until this day. Robbie has been a driving force and a tireless worker guiding Abi and his family through his career and the basketball landscape. The transformation in his body, skills and his ferocity at the ball has been amazing to see, culminating in A National Championship with the U/16 Vic Metro Team and National selection to the U/17 Men in the Oceania Yth Tournament just recently.
All at Diamond Valley wish Abi the best of luck and he should also know that DV will always be home, he joins another Eagle, Carly Turner at the AIS.”
His Eagles teammates sent Abi off with a Championship win in the U/18 A Grade Men at the recent Eltham tournament.