By Kira Starr, Vikes Communications
March 6, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Calm, cool and collected is how University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball player Michael Acheampong (Toronto, Ont.) is often referred to both on and off the court.
Michael prides himself on his ability to stay level-headed as he keeps his teammates grounded and positive.With a number of different personalities on the team, Acheampong tries to be a quiet leader, often leading by example.
When asked who has been his biggest influence, it is without a doubt Acheampong’s mother and the values that she has instilled in him as he was growing up. It was her determination and hard work to provide for Acheampong and his brothers, the opportunities that she provided to further him both academically and athletically and her belief that he should never back down from his dreams and aspirations. These are the three most valuable lessons that Acheampong carries with him at all times.
When it comes to basketball, Acheampong’s most influential athletic icon is none other than Michael Jordon. He admires Jordan’s “desire to win and how his competitiveness took him to the next level because he was always willing to train that much harder to raise his game,” said Acheampong. “He was always so in tune and focused, his energy just brought the team up. As a kid, watching his game, you wanted to be able to do the things he did.”
Acheampong’s ability to keep his team positive and focused during games defines his leadership style. Attending Humber College after high school allowed him to further develop his skill and influential team presence as it was a comfortable yet competitive atmosphere. Although the University of Victoria was not initially on his radar, Acheampong decided to expand his horizons and step out of his comfort zone. After meeting with a UVic recruiter and talking to UVic Vikes men’s basketball assistant coach Craig Behan, the move to Victoria seemed like the right decision. Moving to the island has been a natural fit.
“It has been an eye opener,” said Acheampong. “To see how beautiful the west coast is makes it hard to go back home. Victoria in general is so laid back, it fits my personality. I became accustomed to it very quickly.”
As a Vike, one of the first things Acheampong noticed was how committed the community was. “We thrive off of the energy the crowd brings to home games [and] you can really feel how supportive they are, especially since we [Victoria], don’t have a professional team.”
Without a doubt, an all-time high for Acheampong was Terrell Evans’ (Las Vegas, NV) buzzer-beater lay-up in last season’s third game of the quarterfinal, best of three Canada West series against the University of Calgary. He said he has never experienced such an electric energy and that will be something he never forgets. In addition,his mother’s visit during this year’s senior weekend has been another highlight, it was her first time in Victoria and she could see why Acheampong loves the island lifestyle.
With graduation fast approaching, Acheampong has aspirations to play professional basketball in Europe or in a Canadian league that will showcase his talent to scouts. However, he has also shown an interest in becoming a middle school teacher. Acheampong’s guiding principals of hard work and determination have given him a well-rounded personality and earned him several leadership awards, brought his Humber College team to three consecutive provincial tournaments and earned him First Team All-Star honours.
As the Vikes head to the 2013 CIS Final 8, Acheampong has finally accomplished his goal to make it to nationals – what a great way to end his varsity experience!
Information About the CIS Final 8
1. Carleton Ravens (OUA Champions)
2. Cape Breton Capers (AUS Champions)
3. Ottawa Gee-Gees (OUA Finalists)
4. UBC Thunderbirds (CWUAA Champions)
5. Acadia Axemen (AUS Finalists)
6. McGill Redmen (RSEQ Champions)
7. Lakehead Thunderwolves (OUA Bronze Medallists)
8. Victoria Vikes (CWUAA Finalists)
VIKES CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times EST)
Friday, March 8
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 8 Victoria vs No. 1 Carleton (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Saturday, March 9 (Games TBD)
12:00 Consolation #1: Loser QF #1 vs. Loser QF #2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
14:15 Consolation #2: Loser QF #3 vs. Loser QF #4 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
17:30 Semifinal #1: Winner QF #1 vs. Winner QF #2 (THE SCORE / www.CIS-SIC.tv)
20:15 Semifinal #2: Winner QF #3 vs. Winner QF #4 (THE SCORE / www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Sunday, March 10 (Games TBD)
11:00 5th place (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
13:15 Bronze medal game (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
15:30 Championship final (THE SCORE / www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mbkb/index