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  • Ted Ladd

A Champion from Beltsville

Olukayode—lovingly called Kayode, Kayo, or Kay, the 3rd child and 2nd son of the Ajenifuja family—has placed Beltsville on the map for professional sports as a member of the Toulouse Basketball Club in Toulouse, France!! Kayode actually started his romance with basketball as a toddler when the only thing that got him to smile for the camera on picture day was a basketball. He started playing ball with the Beltsville Bulls in 6th grade. Then, he further developed his talent at Forcey Christian Middle School, where he was coached and part of a team that really shaped his dreams of playing professional basketball. Afterwards, he attended High Point High School (HPHS) and grew in his passion and proficiency of the game. He played on one of the local AAU teams with Coach George and Coach Stan. They traveled a lot, and this helped him grow even more as a player.

In 2012, he graduated from HPHS as a star basketball player and was recruited by Howard Community College (HCC). There, under the skilled training of Coach Mike, Coach Poole, and Coach Jay, the Howard Dragons won the regional championship for the first time in the school’s history, allowing them to go to junior college nationals in Illinois. In his second year at HCC, Kayode and the team continued to succeed as they won the regular season conference championship. Kayode then graduated from HCC with an associate’s degree in general studies.

Next, he was given a full scholarship to attend Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA. There he was challenged by Coach Manchel to take his game to the next level, and he did! By the second year—his senior year—he was ready. He led his team to the PSAC championship (another history-making event) and was given the MVP award.

Since that time, he was recruited to play basketball in France. The first year he played for the La Charite Basket Club. Once again, in his usual fashion, he brought magic to the team, and it won the National 2 championship moving it up to National 1! Kayode just can’t stop himself; he is a true winner!

Presently, he is playing in Toulouse, France, for the Toulouse Basketball Club. Of course, it is in a good position to make it to playoffs and, once again, move up to National 1. The team has also made it the final round of the French Cup and will be competing to be the French Cup champions! In regular season, it has 3 more games until playoffs begin, and the team plans to continue on its 8-game winning streak. My husband and I just returned from France and got to see Toulouse blow out its opponents by 40 points. We are expecting that God will do great things and allow it to win the championship again this year.

We would just like everyone to celebrate the life of this fine young man who is not only an ambassador for the US in Toulouse, being the first American to play on their team, but also he is an ambassador for Christ and for Beltsville.

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