While doing his UAAP residency, Bright Akhuetie was a dean's lister in UP
Danine Cruz on Sep 03, 2018 03:10 PM
Bright Akhuetie is striving hard to be a great athlete and, at the same time, to be a great student
Safe to say, the University of the Philippines is difficult to get in to.
The main gateway to UP is through the famous - or infamous, depends on whom you ask - UPCAT (UP College Admission Test) which only 15 percent of exam takers pass.
For Bright Akhuetie, being a basketball player was his way into UP- a privilege that only gifted athletes can avail and a privilege that Akhuetie is well aware of.
"I have this classmate right now who told me that he had to study and get a diploma in Music just so coming into UP would be easier for him. When he said that, that he spent three years doing these stuff outside just for him to get in to UP, I was like wow," Akhuetie shared.
Indeed, for a highly touted talent like Akhuetie, he just needed to be himself to get to where he is - that being a former Mythical selection who normed 17.6 points, 12.1 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.3 assists for Perpetual in the NCAA.
Still, that fact he has just learned is only making the recruit from Nigeria relish each and every moment he spends inside the campus.
"UP is known not just in the Philippines, it is recognized worldwide. So me, I was given the opportunity to study here and I really appreciate it," he said.
To top that, Akhuetie shared with a wide grin and "Yabang no?" jokes in between that he is not just valuing his education, he also wants to graduate with honors.
"I try my best to keep it up and live up to the standards, pass my classes and all so I can still balance basketball and my academics. If I don't do that good, what's the point?" said Akhuetie who was a college scholar, the equivalent of a dean's lister, last year.
"Education is what everybody should fall back to so that is why I want to graduate with honors because getting that from UP is wow!"
He is currently a Physical Education student in the College of Human Kinetics but shared that he is mulling shifting to the Sports Science program. Regardless of what course he is taking now, being a businessman is his long-term goal.
"The one thing my dad always tells me is that in sports, you cannot play forever. I want to make use of the opportunity that I am given right now (because) I see myself in business in the future, owning a company, working in a very big office."
The former Altas standout spent a year in residency before he can suit up for the Fighting Maroons. Now that residency is done, he reminisced on his year as a plain student away from competitive basketball.
"Coming back into the basketball circle right now is kind of different because I kept studying and I almost forgot about basketball. I almost did."
Yes, apparently, State U didn't almost have a powerhouse for Season 81.
Good thing that Akhuetie ultimately found his way back onto the court.
"I was almost comfortable with that. Now coming back again with the grind, it's kind of new again. We have to practice twice a day and sometimes do extra work and you have to study, projects, you have to do reportings, prepare for quiz, exams and assignments."
In addition to Akhuetie's privilege of becoming a UP student, he says he is also privileged to play alongside talented players like Paul Desiderio, Juan Gomez de Liano, and Jun Manzo.
All in all, there is no doubt that with a topnotch education and topnotch teammates, Bright Akhuetie is a privileged man.
Now, let's see how this hulk will give back to the UP community in Season 81.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @cruzdanine.