In Transition: Abbotsford Basketball’s series spotlighting graduated (in this case, soon to be graduating) basketball players from Abbotsford.
Josh Dhillon…3 time National Gold Medalist in Karate, 2017 AAA Fraser Valley MVP, 2017 AAA Fraser Valley Champion, 2017 AAA BC MVP, and 2017 AAA BC Champion.
It’s an impressive resume, one that he hopes to continue building. Josh is graduating this year from Rick Hansen Secondary School where he and the Hurricanes just won the 2017 AAA championship – the first in school history. It’s an accomplishment that sets a standard of culture for Rick Hansen – it will be difficult to repeat their success but they now know it’s possible.
If we had to compare one aspect of Josh’s game to a NBA player then it would be his ability to decelerate like James Harden. No one seemed to have an answer to Josh and his ability to breakdown a player. Developing that type of style doesn’t happen overnight – we thank Josh for taking the time to answer some questions regarding his past and the recent AAA championships.
Q: When did you start playing basketball?
A: “I started playing basketball in Grade 5, back then it was not as organized as it is now. It wasn’t until Grade 7 when I started taking basketball seriously. After my grade 7 season I made a decision to shift my focus towards basketball from a recreational standpoint to professional, and I haven’t looked back since.”
Q: Prior to provincials, what was your fondest sport moment?
A: “My most memorable sports accomplishment prior to provincials was when I won three consecutive National Champion title in Karate. It was an unforgettable feeling being number 1 in Canada for 3 straight years, and it definitely made me hungry for another win.”
Q: Leading up to provincials what was your mindset?
A: “Leading up to Provincials my mindset was very different from what it was last year. This year I came into all our games more focused and determined because it was my last chance to get a win with my team. I also decided to be a leader so if the team saw that I was preparing for a game seriously they would be focused in the same way.”
Q: If you could have changed one thing about your preparation, what would it have been?
A: “I would have changed my sleeping pattern to something consistent. Leading up to provincials I felt the pressure of being a student-athlete. The last thing I wanted to do was fall behind in my studies, so I ended up sleeping less so I could finish homework and studying. If I could go back and redo it I would have planned my studying times better around my basketball – I am looking forward to hopefully doing that in university as a student-athlete.”
Q: How important was it to you to train outside of practice?
A: “I was taught in grade 9 that if you want to be a great basketball player then you have to do extra outside of practices. On top of playing with Drive Basketball and Rick Hansen basketball, I would play with people who were older and stronger than me. I felt that playing in environments that challenged me was best for my development as a player. So I spent a lot of nights at ARC where players from Columbia Bible College, University of the Fraser Valley, ex-college players, and more would be there to compete against. I also spent every Sunday competing in the Abbotsford Men’s Basketball League and played against some of the best players in the area.” I thought to myself – if I can maneuver around players at this level then most of the time I would be able to do the same against players in high school.
(A day after Josh and the Hurricanes won the 2017 AAA championship he still went to his men’s league game)
(Thank you Coach Yoni for the Hoop Reels of Josh Dhillon – visit his site for more – click here)
Q: In the first half of provincials you were shooting a low percentage, how did you manage to stay positive and focussed in the second half?
A: “My style has been similar throughout high school: upbeat. So missing shots or making mistakes on defense didn’t change my style. I keep a short memory so I wouldn’t stress over previous plays. I make a decision and I stick with it 100% and then I move onto the next play. That’s why I was able to hit shots and make plays when it mattered down the stretch.”
Q: If you could tell your grade 8 self one thing from what you have learned on your journey to this point, what would it be?
A: “I would tell my grade 8 self that being a skinny kid does not always matter. It is about what you got and how you use it to your advantage. No one thought that I was going to win the Provincial MVP in my senior season, and it was partly due to my size. I would also tell my grade 8 self that it is the size of the heart and work ethic that matters, like being the first one in the gym and the last one to leave. And lastly I would tell myself to keep doing what you are doing, it may work out (and it did).”
Q: Where do you see yourself being in five years?
A: “I see myself finishing up college basketball and graduating with a bachelor’s degree, enjoying life and all the hard work that I put in. Also playing men’s league on Sundays. And I owe a lot to my family, so I will spend as much time as I can with them for all the support they have given me since day 1.”