One of the most exciting moments in sports occurs when the unexpected and underestimated turns into greatness. Despite having played only a handful of games in a starting role, sophomore wing Caleb Agada has played like a star this season. He still has much to prove but the potential the 19-year old brings to the table has Gee-Gees nation in awe.
After averaging only 3.5 points per game in 10.4 minutes played backing up Warren Ward last season, Agada has thrived in his starting role this season. In the opening six games this year he is averaging 16.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in nearly 30 minutes of playing time. His scoring average ranks him top thirty in the country in points per game.
“Even the boldest-predicting coach would not have foreseen that he would be playing at this level, this early in his University career. He showed great patience in his first year as he waited in the wings and as a result didn’t get the attention or playing time he might have gotten at other schools,” commented head coach James Derouin. “We were not even sure that he would be ready to start in his second year and we were ready to work with him in a starting role even if he was a bit shaky but he has been excellent for us. To say that he is the future of this program is perfectly accurate.”
Devoted to basketball since the age of six, Caleb Agada grew up in Burlington, Ontario where he developed his talent as a basketball player. Through spectacular dunks, his ability to attack the basket and his pesky defensive attitude, the 6-foot-4 forward has made quite an impression in his second year with the Gee-Gees men’s basketball program.
When talking about the most memorable moments of his career, Agada noted his time played for Blessed Sacrament, a basketball club based in Hamilton, Ont. The team finished in second place thanks to Agada’s leadership on the court. The young forward also described last season with the Gee-Gees and being part of the CIS Final Eight Championship in his first year as being the highlight of his career.
After playing in a support role for most of the regular season, Agada had a breakout performance last season at the CIS National Championship. He recorded a career high 11 points and six rebound against McGill in the first round while providing energy and scoring off the bench for the Gee-Gees throughout the championship series.
“The most important lesson I have learned here so far is the importance of confidence. If someone scores on you repeatedly, you can’t let that get to you. It’s important to just keep playing with confidence on try not let the little things bother you as much. Basically, don’t let anyone take anything away from you,” Agada explained.
Agada’s rapid development is a tribute to his work ethic and determination but can also be attributed to playing behind Warren Ward. Agada had the difficult task of guarding Ward throughout every practice last season and despite losing confidence a times, he learned many valuable lessons.
“Warren is just an amazing player. I am the type of player with the mindset that says there is nothing I can’t do or can’t achieve but Warren seemed to be off limits. I would go up against him in practice with everything I had in me but he would still beat me every time, whether it was on defence or on offence. It’s basically like I was a boy and he was a man,” Agada said humbly. “I struggled with that in my first year because it made me less confident in myself and that got to me at times. Now I realize that it only made me better and more fearless.”
After not being named to the all-rookie team last year and not winning any awards, Agada is quickly making a name for himself in the CIS and is ranking himself around the league as a sophomore standout.