Twelve year old Royce Deakin makes three the budding basketball stars in the Mantua family. His older brother Ridge has set a path for talented young Fil-Aussie cagers to play in the Philippines. Ridge played Centre and Power Forward positions in the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-Adc) Magis Eagles in 2013 and was signed up in June 2014 by UP Fighting Maroons. This year, three more young Sydney basketball talents have joined the Magis Eagles.
Royce’s 10 year old sister Rochelle has played in the junior basketball representative for one the biggest sporting clubs in NSW – the Hills Hornets which beat Manly Sea Eagles 48-44 in the Basketball NSW 2014 Waratah Junior Metro League.
Equally talented as his siblings, Royce has received awards recognising his passion and skills in basketball. His personal awards include 2014 MVP – Hills Hornets Basketball Assoc. Under 14 div 2; MVP 2014 for U13 Basketball NSW All Star Camp; Most Coachable Player 2014 Basketball NSW Talent Identification Camp; and Most Improved Player 2012 Hills Hornets U12 div1.
Royce also shares the pride of his Beaumont Hills Primary School team for winning Gold Award 2013 NSW Premier’s Sporting Challenge; Diamond Award 2012 NSW Premier’s Sporting Challenge; Gold Award 2011 NSW Premier’s Sporting Challenge and Silver Award 2010 NSW Premier’s Sporting Challenge.
Royce’s basketball talent also saw him as part of Hills Hornets Basketball Representative, for Junior Waratah Metro League during 2010 to 2014; 2007 to 2009 Hornets Basketball Academy; 2010 to 2014 Amigos Mechanics Basketball Team, Hills Hornets Tournaments; – 2007 to 2008 Crusaders Basketball Team for Hills Hornets Tournaments and 2009 Dunkaroos Basketball Team for Hills Hornets Tournaments to name a few.
A natural athlete, Royce also excels in Athletics – Track & Field ( High Jump & Long Jumps) and swimming. In fact he can boast of a good result at this year’s City2Surf which he participated in with his Dad Roger, their completion time being 1 hour 34 minutes and 1 hour 37 minutes respectively. His hobbies include singing, dancing hip-hop and cooking. Unlike his brother Ridge and sister Rochelle who love to play musical instruments, Royce who loves to cook would rather help mum in the kitchen.
The basketball skills of the Mantua children were learned from an early age as their father, Roger is active in the Fil-Aussie basketball circle as coach of Amigos Basketball Team. Their mother, popular local singer Cleo Diana commented: “Before Royce even learned how to walk he’s always carrying a basketball in his hand. He practically grew up and spent most of his time in the basketball stadium – on and off .”
Royce’s favourite singers are Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran & Michael Buble. When asked who are his inspirations, Royce said: “ Kobe Bryant, dad Roger and bro Ridge, not necessarily in that order”.
As for the future, Royce wants to be a Veterinarian and at the same time would also like to pursue his love for basketball. He has been offered scholarships to play varsity basketball in the Philippines and also here in Australia.