Trojans forward Julian Apakoh is pretty unique for a 22-year-old British basketball player.
Apakoh was living with his family in London, England when he first fell in love with the game of basketball.
“My older brother used to play,”
“He got me into it.”
Growing up, Apakoh found inspiration and motivation from watching his brother on the court.
“He motivated me to work hard even when no ones watching,”
“To persevere in the little things.”
To this day, Apakoh’s favourite part about playing basketball is the team aspect.
“I like the idea of working hard with a group of guys, having each others back, and building relationships with teammates.”
As a 6’3″ Power/Small Forward, Apakoh believes he stands out from other players due to his athleticism and determination on the court.
“A lot of guys aren’t as quick as me,” he said.
“I’m a pretty aggressive player.”
Apakoh’s personal goals when it comes to basketball include being a good teammate and always stopping the opposition from scoring.
“I try to be as selfless as I can be,”
“Try to be the best defender on the floor, for sure.”
According to Apakoh, the biggest challenge of playing for the Trojans is taking part in the intense cardio workouts during practice.
“The conditioning is definitely tough because it’s so high paced,” said Apakoh.
“It can be pretty hard.”
Although a joker at times, Apakoh describes his mindset during practices and games as focused and down to business.
“I’d say I’m serious but goofy at the same time,” he says.
“I can be a hot head, definitely.”
What sets Apakoh apart from most athletes in Calgary is the journey that brought him here.
He moved from the U.K. when he was 16 years old to attend high school in Regina, where he earned a scholarship to play at SAIT.
Because he was from London, Apakoh has always had an interest in soccer, especially in the form of video games.
“I’m extremely good at FIFA,” he said.
“If anyone wants to play me, challenge accepted.”
In his spare time when he’s not playing basketball, FIFA or studying, Apakoh enjoys watching anime and tennis.
When asked about what he would be doing if he weren’t playing basketball, Apakoh referred to an old hobby of his.
“I’d maybe draw, I used to draw a lot,” he said.
“I think I’d be playing a lot more video games too, that’s for sure.”
While watching the NBA growing up, Apakoh became a fan of Paul George and the Indiana Pacers due to their defensive efforts on the floor.
“I like a good defensive team,”
“The mentality of the team and the emphasis on defence is just something I relate to.”
Apakoh will continue working to improve his skills as the first game of the season quickly approaches.