Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

A smashing year for Daniel Mac volleyball star

  • Print

He hauled in a bundle of individual awards over the past year, but Bruce Akubukaka is most proud of how his volleyball teams performed.


The 16-year-old Maples resident led his Daniel McIntyre Maroons junior varsity boys to a second-place finish in the provincial championship, and was part of a fourth-place showing at the national club championships with his 16-and-under Winman team.


The left-side power hitter said his highlight of the season — which saw him named an all-star at the club nationals, MVP at the high school and club provincials, Manitoba Volleyball Association player of the year for his age group, and the JV athlete of the year at the school — was the Maroons’ lengthy stint atop the junior varsity rankings until they lost in the provincial final to Mennonite Brethren.


"My teammates and coaches all take so much time to help me," Akubukaka said. "I don’t see anything as an individual award."


Heather Ruby, the JV coach at Daniel Mac, said Akubukaka winning the MVP award despite his team losing in the finals demonstrates just how gifted he is at the sport.


"That doesn’t happen very often," she said. "That’s a big statement. When you see him play, you’re amazed by how well he jumps and how hard he hits it."


Akubukaka, who moved to Canada from Burundi when he was in Grade 4, is one part of a very diverse team at the West End school.


"The team shows how diversified our area is," Ruby said. "We have one player from the Caribbean, one from Vietnam, one from the Philippines, some from Africa, and only one Caucasian."


The coach said team sports are a great way for students of different backgrounds to come together, but the players don’t even give it a second thought.


"We just care about the game," Akubukaka said. "I just think about how we can get better. We can be one of the best teams Daniel Mac’s ever had."


Akubukaka played volleyball, basketball and soccer when he came to Canada, and said adapting to a new lifestyle and culture wasn’t difficult.


"I got used to it pretty fast," he said. "I guess I’m just an outgoing person."


Although his mother thinks soccer is his best sport, Akubukaka developed a passion for volleyball and has now made it his primary focus.


"I just love how challenging it is, and how it makes you think," Akubukaka said about the sport.


He’s hoping to continue his development, and to earn a scholarship at a West Coast school, either in Canada or the U.S. The academic side of that equation shouldn’t be a problem for Akubukaka, as he carries an 88% average.


"He’s just a natural leader," Ruby said. "On the court and in the classroom."

avi.saper@canstarnews.com

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Are you surprised drivers continue to flaunt laws against using cell phones while driving?

View Results