Senior Joseph Basha has signed his national letter of intent to dive at the next level for the University of Cincinnati Bearcats.
It's the definition of an exciting opportunity for Basha.
"I worked extremely hard to be able to be competitive at the Div. 1 level and in the most challenging league, like the one the University of Cincinnati competes in (the American Athletic Conference)," Basha said. "I will be diving against the best divers in the nation. I could not have dreamed of ever being a diver competing at this level, especially after only diving for three years. I am excited to compete as a Bearcat."
Once he graduates next spring, he'll be leaving the halls of the Collegiate as a highly decorated high school diver.
Since his freshman year, he's been named the Macomb County diver of the year twice, and has been an All-American qualifier three times, including during last year's COVID-19 abbreviated season. He's also been named to the Macomb County dream team twice.
Additionally, he's won numerous meets, including back-to-back Catholic League ones and the Macomb County meet during his sophomore campaign.
This is all true, despite the fact that he didn't start diving until his freshman year at De La Salle.
At the time, he only practiced a couple days a week, too -- specifically in the morning before school -- because he also played hockey and was a gymnast.
It wasn't until after his freshman year that he started solely focusing on diving.
This coincided with DLS's hiring of Kory Hison as its new diving coach.
Hison, highly regarded in the profession, was named the 2019 Macomb County dive coach of the year by The Macomb Daily.
Basha credits Hison and Pilots head varsity swimming coach Jim Singelyn, a 1990 DLS graduate and three-time All-American swimmer during his time as a student-athlete, with his development in the pool.
"Coach Kory and Coach Singelyn both fully supported and motivated me to be a great diver," Basha said.
Singelyn won't soon forget the impact Basha has made while donning the Purple and Gold.
"Joey made an immediate impact the day he walked onto the pool deck, taking his gymnastics background -- where one lands on their feet -- and turning those aerial abilities into dives," Singelyn said. "It's very rare that a student-athlete competes at the state level all four years of high school, and scores massive points for the team. Joey is one of the rare athletes to come through the school with multiple all-state and All-American honors. I hope COVID doesn't get in the way of winter sports, because I, for one, am looking forward to his senior year."
Basha is hoping, as well, that his senior season doesn't get canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And he's been staying ready for a potential season by competing with the Oakland Legacy national team, which offers year-round training programs for individuals as young as six years old and as old as 18.
If he gets the chance to compete this winter with the Pilots, he has a few goals that he would like to accomplish.
He is seeking to win the Macomb County, Catholic League and state meets, along with finishing as an All-American qualifier for the fourth time in as many years.
And if anything has been learned about Basha during his four years at the Collegiate, it's that all his goals -- no matter how big -- are definitely attainable.