Humility was an important lesson that King/Drew senior guard Dunsin Akinbi learned before he graduated. As a junior, he played selfishly but new coach Lloyd Webster changed his role on the team.
“I was really focused on scoring, but this year we got a new coach and he gave me a lesser role,” Akinbi said. “In that lesser role, I grew to be a better and bigger person.”
Becoming more of a team player would pay off for Akinbi, as he helped the King/Drew boys basketball team earn the division II City Section Championship.
Through his years at King/Drew, Akinbi earned a 4.2 overall GPA. During his senior year, he took AP Calculus and AP Physics. He works hard because he knows that being proficient in his studies would bring joy to his mother.
“What I learned about AP Calc, it relates to AP Physics in a lot of ways,” he said. “I like that connection.”
His hard work in high school allotted him admission into UCLA, Akinbi will be attending the university in the fall.
In order to juggle all of his responsibilities, Akinbi focuses on things that are important to him.
“It’s a lifestyle, it’s something I’ve been doing literally forever, since I was a youngin,” he said. “I just can’t get distracted.”
The King/Drew squad was a true contender during the 2017-18 season; they snapped their losing streaks with Gardena and Washington Prep.
“That was the first time we beat Gardena in four years, so we had a lot of confidence,” Akinbi said. “We wanted to show the whole city that … we’re here to play basketball.”
Akinbi was also a member of the UCLA VIP program, Fellow Christian Athletes, Chess Club, and Black Student Union.
“I love King/Drew, I love the people,” he said. “If you love something, it’s no excuses. You just find a way to do what you want to do.”
When Akinbi was younger, he played in the travel ball team called “Game Time Elite.” He was the youngest child on the team and would not get a lot of minutes on court.
“I got less playing time, I got less scoring,” he said. “So every time I practice, every time I play, I just think of that team and think of what I would have done.”
Trust and love are the key ingredients needed to create a championship team, says Akinbi.
“You gotta trust the coach, you got to trust each other,” he said. “I think trust and love, we actually love each other as brothers. These two things, that’s what makes a championship team.”