City of London Academy and Southwark Pride Toyosi Abiola has committed to NCAA Division One Iona College for the 2017/18 season.
The athletic 5ft 7″ Guard becomes the second player from CoLA to gain a USA Division I scholarship after having a handful of choices but decided on a programme that she will play a major role in the future success.
We got a chance to catch up with Toyosi to get her thoughts on how far she has come to gain a USA scholarship.
How does it feel to get a USA scholarship?
It feels amazing to have been offered a scholarship to a Division 1 college in the USA as it is something I know many aspire to achieve but not all get the opportunity to do, especially to a school where I feel I will develop and also enjoy 4 four years of college basketball and a quality education. Definitely a euphoric feeling to say the least.
How did the process go of finding a school in the USA?
A huge part of finding the right school for me was down to my Head Coach, Jackson Gibbons who worked tirelessly to find me quality choices in the states by taking us out on two trips, networking with various colleges and always putting me in contact with colleges that were good fits for me to play at and all could provide amazing opportunities for me.
What are your goals going to be at Iona College?
My goals going into Iona College are to develop even further as a basketball player and challenge myself to be always improve at every given opportunity. Also to work hard in class and continue to fulfill the role of a student athlete who is not only going abroad to play collegiate basketball but study and educate myself.
How important do you think it is for UK players to take their talents to the USA?
I definitely think the opportunity for UK athletes to take their talents to America is a huge one and to be able to showcase your talent amongst the best in the world is something that is important to many UK players who want to enhance and develop their game. I don’t know how my story would have ended up, but I can tell you anyone looking for an Academy next year that the work & effort the coaching staff put into you at CoLA is unreal, it will always be a special place to me where my basketball journey started and where I feel like they do what is advertised and often a lot more.
And finally, anyone you want to thank.
I want to thank my family for all they’ve done to support me, my coaches at CoLA Basketball Academy/ Southwark Pride who have aided my development and helped me to get to where I am today. My teammates and friends who have never doubted me and provide me with such a huge support network and I want to give thanks to God for allowing me to use my ability and pursue my dreams. And lastly the hardcourts for making me fall in love with basketball in the first place.
We want to wish Toyosi all the success as she continues her basketball journey in the USA.