Get To Know A Crusader – U14 Joel Vieira-Gyekye

How long have you been playing basketball and how did you get into it?

“I started playing basketball when I was around 9 or 10 and the reason I started playing was because my grandma bought me some nice basketball shoes and I used to wear them all the time. So my older brother, who was already into basketball, told me you might as well go to a team and start playing basketball. So I joined Crusaders.”

What’s been your favourite basketball memory so far?

“My favourite basketball memory was at a Kent Crusaders camp when we were playing games and it was the last game, the final, so it was super intense and whoever won the game wins the tournament and gets a prize. So it was a close game, I got the steal and ran towards the basket to try lay it up and when I was about to lay it up two people tried to block me so I faked it and went up and got the game winner.”

Photo Credit: Crusaders

What would you say are your strengths when it comes to basketball?

“My strengths in basketball are probably my ball handling and my finishing. I’ll say they’re my strengths as my height is below average for a basketball player, so I have to work with what I got. Another reason why they’re my strengths is because my favourite player is Allen Iverson so I just try copy my game off him.”

What are your goals for basketball over the next 5 years?

“My goal for the next 5 years is to get scouted by a European or American coach and hopefully play college in America and go D1.”

Do you have any other hobbies?

“Yeah I do boxing, so sometimes after my boxing session I have basketball right after so I get sore, and once I even had a basketball match and won and a boxing match in the evening and won that too.”

How have you been keeping fit in the lockdowns?

“Yeah I’ve been going on 3-6 mile runs about 4 times a week and after that I do an 8 minute abs video. On the days I don’t run I try get to a park and shoot some hoops, but now it’s always raining so going to play basketball is really hard. I’ve also been doing the Crusaders S&C sessions around 3 times a week I just did one yesterday and my whole body hurts cause we did legs upper body along with abs.”

Photo Credit: Graham Hodges

Quick Fire Questions!

Favourite shoe? Kyrie Lows 3

Favourite boxer? Andre Ward

Favourite basketball player? Allen Iverson

What NBA team do you support? Brooklyn Nets

Would you rather be a dunker or shooter? Shooter

Xbox or PlayStation? PlayStation

Lastly, Cristina was your head coach last year and Rhys is this year, but who would win a 1v1 first to 7 and defence calls fouls?

“UHMMM…….. I would have to say Cristina as no one can beat coach 1v1.”