Pictured: Uche with his SA Metro jersey when he made his SA Metro debut in April 2016.
Preface by Janx....
Uche Dibiamaka is a rare talent. His unique mix of skills, physical strength and athleticism is something I have not seen often, if at all, in a guard, in Australian junior basketball. It is no surprise to me that he has began to burst onto national US rankings since moving over there for High School.
I thought he could become a key component of our 2016 South Australia Metro team but after the East Coast Challenge tournament, which pitted him against some of the best kids in the State of NSW, Victoria and ACT my Assistant Coaches and I were left in no doubt. It was his work ethic and determination in these games which really stood out. He had not had an easy 18 months prior with an injury that put him out of contention for U16 Nationals and 8 months out from playing. It was clear however in that period he had still put in work. Coming back much physically stronger and even more athletic than before his injury. I feel there is a consistent pattern in successful athletes I have worked with in that they have suffered some kind of adversity or setback along the way, overcome it, getting better as a result, and this probably one example of this process for Uche.
For me, he was a pleasure to coach. I was able to challenge him through the process with in-depth and honest discussions on what his role would be and how we planned for him to make the transition from his traditional role of a wing player to a point guard, off guard. Our system that year was built strongly around our guards making plays, finding our big men or scoring was very well suited to a guard like Uche able to score all over the floor. We also saw that some of the best point guards in the country were undersized and we wanted to use our size and physical strength advantages with our guards like Uche to punish these smaller guards inside the paint.
Video: Uche Dibiamaka highlights from U18 National Championships in April 2016. Worth a good watch!!!!!
At the High School level in South Australia Uche’s High School team, St Peter’s College, was coached by Curtis Scipio. Curtis was a former US import, playing in our local Premier League and was employed as the Open As Coach of St Peters. His team was the number 1 team in the state of South Australia, the most successful team in the history of St Peter’s basketball, and competed in the National High Schools Championships that year.
Soon after Nationals Uche made the decision that for him his best way to expand his pathways was by moving to the US to play High School basketball. This pathway was helped in large part through his former High School Coach at St Peters, Curtis Scipio. This would be a hard decision for any 17 year old, to leave his family and friends, and shows his commitment to pursuing success in the game.