Know Your Pride: Q&A With Ademola Afonja

Know Your Pride: Q&A With Ademola Afonja

With the Regis men’s basketball season in full swing, Regis Athletics sat down with junior forward and New York native Ademola Afonja in the latest installment of “Know Your Pride”. Afonja is a psychology major from Staten Island, N.Y.

Why did you choose to come to Regis?
One of the reasons I came to Regis is because I wanted a change and to step out of my comfort zone. I wanted to leave New York and feel what it’s like to be independent in a way. For the basketball part, on the high school team I played for I was the best player so I almost had to shoot every shot, and I didn’t want to have to do that. I wanted to be around a winning program with talent and they (Regis) had just won a (NECC) championship.

So far, what has been your most memorable experience at Regis, on or off the court?
That’s a good question. I would have to say my freshman year when we used to hang out with the lacrosse players. Everyone got along so well and it was really different than my experience back home. We would all hang out and everyone would go home peacefully which I thought was pretty cool.

When Coach Hager gives you the day off, what are doing?
I’m taking advantage of that day and doing a lot of homework. We had a day off during finals so I was getting my papers done and out of the way.

What do you enjoy most about playing basketball at Regis?
My teammates. I love my teammates the most and they pick me up on and off the court. If I ever have a situation where I need them they’re always there and vice versa. We’re really in a pack and really a family.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given and by whom?
I’d probably have to say from my dad. He watches all my games because he’s all the way at home but hits me up before every game. He always tells me to remember who I am, why I’m playing and who I’m playing for. Once I get that in my head, I’m ready to go and ready to play for all those who’ve helped me along in life.

You played one year of football in high school. Did you ever think about playing in college?
I did think about it and I have a funny story. I played in high school my senior year and we had four games left to go in the season and were playing our rival school. I was doing really well that year but in that game I caught the ball in the end zone and got smacked by three players and got a concussion. After that I thought, yeah I’m not doing this (laughing). They’re even bigger and stronger in college so after that I decided to just stick to basketball.

It really looks like you’re enjoying yourself on the court. What’s the best part of the season so far?
For me individually it’s how comfortable I feel on the court. I feel so relaxed which is different than the last two years. And as a team, you can see the diff between last year and this year already. After a play we come and huddle up and figure out what we did wrong. We never did that last year so I see a lot of growth in the team there. Growing is a beautiful thing. 

What’s the last picture you took on your phone?
Actually the last picture I got was of my girlfriend. She took a selfie and sent it to me.

If you could sit down to dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Tupac Shakur. I just love who he is and what he stands for. I grew up listing to him.

If you could have a special power, what would it be?
Heat vision like Superman. Or the Green Lantern’s ring.

If you could live in a TV show or movie, what would it be?
The Wayans Brothers. I get my personality from them.

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
There’s a lot of things I would do with it. First I would give 10-15% to my mom and dad, and then invest most of the rest of it to get my sports psychology business going after I get my masters.

All abilities aside, if you could play another sport at Regis what would it be?
Track. I would do the high jump event.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Juicy by Biggie Smalls.

If you could be any animal what would you be?
A Jaguar. You can’t catch a jaguar.