« Men’s Soccer 2015

Amass Amankona

School

University of Dayton

Position
Midfielder
Major
College Student Personnel

Classroom

Amass Amankona is a fifth-year senior at the University of Dayton in his third year at UD. After starting his career in his native country of Ghana, Amankona came to the U.S. to further his education while playing soccer. Not only has he found success on the field, but also in the classroom. Amankona received his bachelor’s degree in May in general studies, all with English being his second language. He is now pursuing his master’s degree in college student personnel in the school of education at UD. On top of that, his cumulative GPA is 3.42 despite balancing team responsibilities and academics. Because of his efforts in his studies, Amankona was named the University of Dayton Presidential Scholar Athlete of the Year. That award is given to one male and one female student-athlete at UD each year and is the most prestigious academic award given by the athletics department. That was not Amankona’s only award as he was also named to the Academic All-Ohio Team, the Dean’s List and the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Character

When it comes to character, Amass Amankona has one of the most unique stories at Dayton. A native of Kumasi, Ghana, he came over to UD after attending school at the University of Ghana. While in his homeland, he was simply a student taking advantage of the fact that he was able to go to school. Due to the high price of education, he’d had to fight for an opportunity to attend high school after receiving a rare partial scholarship for soccer. And when it came to college, Amankona faced another challenge. On average, more than one million young men and women apply to go to school at the University of Ghana, and only 25,000 are accepted. But due to his hard work in high school and faith in the process, Amankona was admitted.

After being invited to come to the United States to attend the University of Dayton, Amankona told his family of the opportunity, but they did not believe him until he left for the airport. The fact that Amankona was able to come from a humble background and travel to the U.S. to attend school and play soccer without burdening his family financially inspired and encouraged not only himself, but also his parents and family. Amankona explained the situation with this: “Hope is the key to one’s success irrespective of a person’s social, economic, political, and religious background.” The senior takes advantage of every opportunity he is given and urges his teammates on and off the field to live the same way.

Community

Amankona has been appreciative of every aspect of being a student-athlete at Dayton, including the opportunity to give back to the local community. In the time when he is not competing, practicing or focusing on his studies, he has found time to help out with local philanthropic activities. During his three years at Dayton, Amankona has been involved with Athletes in Action, the Trotwood Soccer Clinics and Dayton’s soccer camps. He also has participated in the Christmas on Campus event which brings local boys and girls on campus for fun activities, gifts and inspirational one-on-one time with student-athletes. Even though Amankona came from a country where many people are in need of help, he still understands that because of his opportunity to come to America, he is privileged and blessed. In turn, he reaches out to show care and respect to everyone. His purpose is to be a leader in all aspects of life, including in the community. Because of that, his teammates and other student-athletes use him as an example regarding how to embrace the full student-athlete experience at Dayton.

Competition

Amankona has been a leader on the pitch for Dayton since his first day on campus and has racked up numerous accolades as the Flyers’ playmaking midfielder. Coming off his second season at UD, the diminutive center mid has been named first-team All-Atlantic 10, first-team All-Ohio, second-team All-Midwest Region, and first-team All-Conference by CollegeSportsMadness. He was also named Dayton’s Most Valuable Player in 2014, as well as to the all-tournament team at the UAB Classic and the Dayton Classic. Last year, Amankona led the Atlantic 10 in assists with eight and ranked 14th nationally. He chipped in five goals, second most on the Flyer squad. Besides starting all 19 games and playing the most minutes of any field player with 1,787 in 2014, he led the team in assists, points, shots, shots on goal and penalty kicks. The Dayton coaching staff is expecting Amankona to not only add personal accolades, but also to lead the Flyers deep into the postseason this season.