My name is Michael Oyenuga. I am 17 years old. I was born in Lagos, Nigeria located in West Africa. I migrated to the United States when I was 15 years old in 2010. I attend Bronx Leadership Academy High School. I now play for South Bronx United under 17 team in which I play as a defensive mid fielder. Being a part of the U17 team was the best thing that has ever happen to me. I was able to meet new players from different countries, learn about their backgrounds and cultures. I was able to gain experience being a part of the team. Also, I was able to get help from the staff preparing me for my SAT exam.

The moment I joined the team, I didn’t know what to expect because I was a shy person meaning that I kept things to myself. Being a part of the U17 team as made me who I am today, meaning that it gave me the confidence, improved on my soccer skills, helping my team mates in bad situations and also having a good communication skills.

We all worked hard as team mates both on (practices and games) and off (academically) the field. When I came to this country I was looking  for a club to join and suddenly i was introduced to SBU by classmates. I went and tried out with 50 other players that looked fit, stronger than I was. After the try out,  I received an email from the coach saying that he added me to his roster, I couldn’t believe it. He said that my passes were accurate, in which he now calls me Pass Master. I went to practices in which I had difficulties with because I wasnt fit, couldn’t run for too long and couldn’t speak which was a big problem for me, the coach, and my team mates.

My first game of the season was the hardest game I have ever played simply because of the amount of running your have to do for 90minutes, 45minutes for each half. I wasn’t use to all that, but later I became really use to the practices and games. The most competive game I have ever played in was the showcase, teams from different city came in to win the trophy and also was an opportunity to have a college coach come and see you play. The games were intense because no team wanted to lose. We tied our first game which was disappointing because we were leading 3:0 and  they came back half time and tied the game. We felt that we should have done Better that game. We ended up losing in the show case. After the show case, we had the state, city and league cup on our minds. We practiced really hard because we wanted the cups. We ended the losing the State, City and League cup.

The cup that I felt that we really worked hard for was the league cup. In league, we were undefeated all through the season until our last game, in which we lost and came in second place. We all felt that we should have at least won the game since we were undefeated. That was the only emotional game because players were crying, frowning, sad e.t. After the game at the pizza shop was when we over came our emotions because we ate, made jokes, it was fun. After the season was over, we went on a trip to philedepia to play a game with another team in which we tied the game 2:2. We should have won the game but who cares,it’s just a friendly game. Later, we went to grab something to eat because we were all hungry and then came back to the Bronx.

While I was at the home, my coach messaged me saying that I and six other SBU players were given scholarships to attend a soccer camp at Manhattan College. I was so excited to attend because I felt that it was an opportunity for me to ask questions about the recruiting system in college and also to show the coach what I have to offer, whether or not I am the best fit for his team. The camp was fun, and the workouts were alright and not too bad. I met new players from different places like the Bronx, Staten Island and Connecticut, and I gained a lot of experience from the camp.

Some of the biggest ways SBU has helped me has been off the field.  During the middle of my Junior year, SBU created a program to help the juniors and seniors prepare for the SAT exam, which is a requirement in most colleges in the United States. I got involved with the program and learned some strategies to help me succeed in the exam.  I took practice SAT test to see what areas to improve in.  I hope to improve even more by the time I take the test again in October.

Aside from the SATs, my senior year is going to be a busy year because that’s when I apply to colleges and invite college coaches to watch me play and hopefully get a scholarship.  I have gained a lot of experience. SBU continues to change my life; it has made me who I am today as a Scholar Athlete.

Michael with other 2013 Scholar Athletes