A former Holy Trinity football standout is taking his talents to the NCAA.
— Tola Banjoko (@BanjokoTola) December 23, 2017
18-year-old Tola Banjoko is getting a scholarship from Princeton University – an Ivy League school looking to get back to the championship after winning in 2016.
Multiple schools including UCLA, Georgia, and UNC were interested in encouraging the defensive back to choose them.
In the end, Banjoko tells Mix News he decided on Princeton so he can continue playing football and get a great education.
“I really don’t see the point of playing football if I’m not trying to take it as far as I can – if I play in the NFL then I do, I wanted to make sure my future was secure one way or another.”
Banjoko is originally from Chicago but found his way to Fort McMurray after his mom got a job in the community.
He initially didn’t want to play football but his friends and current Holy Trinity Head Coach Kwame Osei convinced him otherwise.
Osei would eventually take Banjoko under his wing and with the blessing of his mother helped the 18-year-old make his way back to the U.S. to attend Episcopal High School to further his development.
“We could have kept him for another year but for his growth and for the longevity of football in Fort McMurray, he needed to leave and we’re just very proud of everything he’s done and we know he’s going to be achieving so much more in the next few years.”
During his time as a coach, Osei says he’s preached the importance of the game and also getting an education.
Going to Princeton, in his mind, is the best of both worlds.
“When he chose Princeton – I was all for it, at the end of the day it’s his life and all I can do is support him.”
Osei says this scholarship is adding on to his already great legacy when it comes to Fort McMurray football players. Over the past two years, Banjoko has also become a role model and a player other Knights look up to.
“I never imagined I’d be in this position, it goes for show anything can happen,” added Banjoko.