Before moving to Canada, Eniola Obafemi only played soccer.
That’s what he and his friends loved playing while growing up in Nigeria
In the two years since becoming a Princess Margaret Mustang, Obafemi has made great strides as an athlete. It’s for that reason he took top honors during the Mustangs’ athletic awards banquet in early June. Obafemi shared the Senior Above and Beyond Award with Kari-Grace Pym and was recognized with the Top Grade 12 Male athlete award.
“I have to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills,” said Obafemi, giving appreciation to his parents for allowing him to play sports he said are expensive in Canada.
With the Mustangs, he started playing basketball and tennis. During his second basketball season he shared most valuable player honors with Mauro Patterson, which he said was nice because of the effort he put in. Obafemi’s coach Brian Hurst said he is an incredible athlete who is coachable.
“He was an athlete but was very raw in his skills,” said Hurst. “He has done a great job of balancing lunch hours in classrooms making sure that he understands his school work and being in the gym developing as a basketball player. He has always been very open to coaching to improve as a player.”
Following the Grade 11 season provincials, Hurst said Obafemi’s understanding of basketball clicked. Much of that is due to spending time in the summer playing and following it with a fantastic season.
“As much as he has developed as a basketball player, he made greater growth as a person,” said Hurst. “When he arrived, understandibly he was very shy and kept to himself. I think he was in a bit of whirlwind getting to know a new country, new city, new school and new friends. He has become very involved in school activities, including helping run the intramural soccer league. He leads by example with an incredible work ethic in the sports that he plays as well as the classroom.”
Other award recipients included Grade 10 students Colton Van Camp, Taylor Corrie and Kenzie Haberstock getting the Robyn Muir Inspirational Award, going to the best student athletes in Grade 10. Van Camp shared the top male athlete Grade 10 award with Spencer Kingzett and Kohl Linder. He said it felt good to be rewarded after a great season that included third at volleyball provincials.
“It’s all part of a team effort,” said Van Camp, who also played basketball and tennis. “These two (Corrie and Haberstock) are just great people and great athletes. I have played with them lots in volleyball. I know they are really good athletes.”
Corrie, who was named the top female Grade 10 athlete, said it’s a nice honour to share the Robyn Muir Award. She too said it was accomplished because of her team.
“I’ve worked hard at getting better at all the sports,” said Corrie, who played volleyball, basketball, soccer, tennis and field hockey.
Haberstock was shocked to be a recipient.
“I knew Taylor and Colton were going to get it, but I did not expect it. They are both really good athletes.”
Haberstock is motivated by her teammates to perform her best. “I don’t want to let them down,” she said. “I’m pretty close with all of them.”
Haberstock represented the Mustangs on the volleyball and basketball courts. She enjoys teams sports because she is with her friends.
“The road trips are probably the best part of the season,” she said. “I can remember more road trip memories than games.”
All three credited their coaches for successful seasons.
Winning the top athlete of the year Grade 11 girls were Madison Winter, Callan Cooper and Rylee McKinlay. For Grade 12 girls it was Dana Klamut and Kari-Grace Pym. In Grade 9 it was Shinaaz Johal, Sydney McKinlay and Courtney Olexa. Josh Ryan was named the top athlete of the year for Grade 11 boys and top rugby player. The top athlete of the year for Grade 9 boys went to Gurkeeret Klar, Darian Johnson and Jacob Winstone. The officials award went to Quinn Campbell, Jasmin Badasha, Candace Hamilton and Zoe Jack. Mustang medals went to Klamut, Pym, Brooklyn Pichette, Russell Manning and Corrie.