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Davao booter stands out in sports and academics

Mars G. Alison
Davao booter stands out in sports and academics
Darius Joseph 'Jed' Diamante learns to manage his time as he aspires to be both an engineer and an Azkal

TAGUM CITY, Philippines – Long gone are the days where athletes are thought of to be just all brawn. Many athletes now defy that description and one of them is Darius Joseph Diamante or simply known as Jed to family and friends.

Diamante is not only an accomplished athlete, he is also an academic achiever.

As a football player, Diamante is the team captain of the DAVRAA football team and is a member of the Philippine Under 13 and Under 14 teams better known as the Little Azkals. He was also the team captain of the Philippine Under 14, which had the most successful international stint by clinching bronze in the Japan-East Asean Football Exchange Programme U-14 Youth Football Festival in 2012. And, he is the Milo ambassador for football.

Academic wise, Diamante recently graduated as the high school valedictorian of Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) and was named by JCI as the most outstanding highschool graduate of Davao City. He was also accorded the Alfonso Yuchengco National Discipline Award, an award that recognizes graduating high school students consistent in exemplifying the virtue of discipline in school and in the community.

Diamante says time management is key in balancing academics and sports.

“I set my priority. If there is a tournament I focus on training, if there is an exam, I focus on studying,” said Diamante, adding that on normal days he does his assignments after eating during recess and lunch, so when he goes home after football training, which happens after school, he just review his lessons. He said that he can’t sleep if he can’t study. During out-of-town matches, he brings his books with him.

But make no mistake, it’s not all training and studying for Jed as he also finds time to enjoy and go out with his friendsl. He even finds time to play video games, a love he had while growing up and before he got into football.

Asked if there ever came a point in his life where he resents the time he has to spend training and studying instead of going out and having fun, Diamante quipped he is already used to his lifestyle.

He even finds the time to mingle with the “Jedsters”, his fanbase in Davao who cheers and celebrates his achievements.

“I am future-oriented. When something comes up I always ask myself “If I do this now, will I still be able to do what I need to do”, I think long-term goals,” Diamante said.

Diamante is not the only one who plays football in the family. He is the youngest brother of De La Salle University’s Gio and Gelo Diamante, who were instrumental in Green Archers finals entry to the Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) collegiate football. His youngest sister, Jelli, an incoming Grade 6 student of ADDU, also plays varsity football.

Diamante makes it clear there is no sibling rivalry among them nor does he feel overshadowed by his older brothers.

“Not at all. And that is because of the equal attention that our parents have bestowed upon us. Because of how they treat us, we have grown up helping each other,” said Diamante.

Diamante, who will be joining his brothers at the DLSU taking up civil engineering, is looking forward to achieving more both in his football and academics.

He will also be seeing action in the United Football League (UFL) Youth as a member of the Kaya FC Under 17.

“If given a chance, I would like to play for the national team because I owe it to what I have become now. It will be my way of giving back and thanking the sport and the people who have helped me. If it weren’t for football, I wouldn’t be this disciplined and organized,” Diamante said. –

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