Africabasket.com had the chance to talk to Sudanese player Achuil Lual who is currently enrolled at Algonquin in Canada:
1. You transferred to Algonquin before the past season, what was the reason for the transfer?
Achuil Lual: I had all intentions of going back to St. Lawrence, but right before it was time to go back for per-season training, I was involved in a motor vehicle accident. As a passenger, I sustained some injuries that would force me to sit out the coming basketball season. Coming from a large family with eight children; it would be straining on my parents and me, if I went back even if I was not playing. My older brother Lual and older sister Arek are also in college; so that already was heard enough on my parents, now they had to add another to the list. It cost roughly around $10,000 a year to go to St. Lawrence and only $2,500 to stay home and go to Algonquin College. So since I could not afford to take another student loan, I made a decision financially to stay home and got to Algonquin College.
2. The college season in Canada is over, how would you describe the past season for you and your team?
Lual: By going undefeated during league play the whole season makes this years season somewhat successful from the teams point of view. Although we were undefeated, not winning it all is a great disappointment. This year’s team was very talented. But for me, I felt that this year was more of a re-establishing year. Because I was forced to sit out a year I felt almost like everyone was a year of talent ahead of me. They had and extra year of learning and developing. So in a sense I wasn’t sure if I was able to step in and take of from where I end, as rookie of the year. Even with all the rehabilitation and strengthening, I still didn’t have the confidence. With the fear of re-aggravating my injuries, I began to practice with the team. During the last practices before the first game it happened, and I was forced to sit of the first half of the season, and wait even longer. I still have a fear that I will re-aggravate the injuries till this day. Through conversations with those who have affected my life drastically, my parents, and old coaches, I decided to play the second half. The first couple of games where not up to my standards, but the season ended being a great one and I ended up making a name for myself on the defensive and offensive end. With many double doubles, I can’t really be that disappointed with the season.
3. Are you in contact to other Sudanese players or is there a Sudanese
community in Canada and do you get any information about basketball from Sudan?
Lual: I am in contact with many Sudanese basketball players. There are many in Ottawa that are involved with the community and the Sudanese community. I have an uncle who played overseas and one that played in the NBA. (Manute Bol). I don’t receive any information on basketball from Sudan. I didn’t even know that the site that you have running existed, until not too long ago when a friend read my name and told me. I feel that many Sudanese basketball players down here are on the same boat as me when it comes to any information on Sudanese basketball. I appreciate the website and the information that is made available.
4. What kind of goals do you have? Do you want to play pro ball or are you planning to get into a "real" job?
Lual: Like all Sudanese children, my goals are to get well educated, succeed in life, and to never forget where I came from. So ultimately I want to give back to my country. I do want to play basketball professionally, whether it’s in the NBA or for my country or any country. But until that opportunity comes, I want to finish college<