The former Ittihad VC of Libya player, Sunday Akinbo revealed that his jumping ability made him dump basketball for volleyball.
The former Sunshine Spikers player said his passion for volleyball was ignited when he held a volleyball ball in his hands.
He told www.aclsports.com that Coach Olatunde oguntona and Eze Chiemeka made him a refined player while growing up.
Akinbo said, “I started playing basketball first at a very young age until I was invited by a friend to the volleyball court because he liked the way I used to jump. Immediately I stepped on the volleyball court, I blended easily into the game; the game was much more natural to me because I jumped so high to hit the ball.
“I easily made way into the team ranks at Club O
mnisports de Dabou in Côte d’ivoire and it was like the game of volleyball was made for me so I decided to switch to volleyball. After my switch, I started hearing of the likes of coach Olatunde Oguntona (I played under in Côte d’ivoire) and coach Eze Chiemeka (The setter of the then Satoci volleyball club in Abidjan) who gave me a boost.
“I must note that I started the game back in Abidjan and the success I had in it gave me a base to pursue. In a nutshell my passion for the game was ignited when I held a volleyball ball in my hands”, he told www.aclsports.com
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) player said beating Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the final game of the 2019 Nigeria Volleyball Premier League was necessary to make them strong mentally.
He said, “Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) did well at the 2019 Nigeria Volleyball Premier League despite some challenges. We held strong despite losing some crucial matches in the early stage of the 2nd round and finished quite strong too.
“Our last match against the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Team was a tough match first of all for us because it was needed for us to stay strong mentally. It was also to prove a point that a blend of young and matured players can be deadly; so we forge ahead and also sent out words that we still remain a team that has the prospect to still be the league winner subsequently”.
Commenting on the 2019 African Games experience, Akinbo said, “ It was nice playing along Africa’s best teams at the African Games in Morocco and it was nice being part of the squad that represented Nigeria and play under experienced coaches like Coach Japheth Nuhu and coach Taiwo. We did super well in my opinion but I still believe we can give and do more with better conditions back home”.
Ahead of the 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF), Sunday Akinbo called on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state to give award to 2018 NSF and pay stipends to every athletes owed.
He said, “The state government can encourage the athletes by giving us awards for the 2018 National Sports Festival in Abuja, where we made the state proud by coming out as the gold medalist. Another way is to pay the stipends they owe every athlete, give the right conditions of training and reinforce their mindset/will to play through effective financial medical and infrastructural support.
“Ondo state volleyball team remains a team to look out for in the upcoming National Sports Festival, hopefully the pandemic restrictions are lifted and we resume training so we can prepare for the games as we should. I believe to win we have to train so the more we do the assurance of retaining our title is a possibility by the grace of God”.
The former Msila VC of Algeria player told www.aclsports.com that he keeps fit during the COVID-19 pandemic through watching top volleyball clips and instructions from his coach online.
He said, “On my part, I have taken time to keep fit through physical exercises and watching top level volleyball clips in my house. Once in a while, I take instructions from my coach Samuel Ajayi (online) about possible areas I can improve on as an individual but it has not been easy because volleyball is a team sport”.
Sunday Akinbo started his volleyball career with an academy named Club Omnisports de Dabou in Côte d’Ivoire (2000), then moved to Nigeria and joined Sunshine Spikers of Ondo state (from 2003 to 2007).
He moved from Sunshine Spikers to Nigeria Prisons Service in 2007 before returning to Côte d’Ivoire and joined Société Omnisports de L’armée (2009-2011). He moved to North African side Msila Volleyball Club of Algeria in 2012, Blat volleyball club of Lebanon in 2013 and Ittihad Volleyball Club of Libya in 2017.
He signed for Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in 2012 till date. Akinbo joined Msila Volleyball Club of Algeria, Blat volleyball club of Lebanon and Ittihad Volleyball Club of Libya while being a resident player with the NSCDC.