StudentNews_KevinWilsonBasketball

Physiotherapy student recognised for making a difference across Canada

Thu, 16 Jul 2020 16:19:00 BST
Kevin has given young people across Canada the opportunity to interact with top basketball players
Kevin has given young people across Canada the opportunity to interact with top basketball players

A GCU student has been named as one of the “Top 20 Outstanding Black Men in Canada” for his work in helping young people develop on and off the basketball court.

MSc Physiotherapy student Kevin Wilson is the founder of the National Basketball Youth Mentorship Programme back in his native Toronto and has supported over 1,500 individuals under the age of 19 since it was introduced in February 2018.

He was recognised by SHIFTER magazine, which celebrates the best in black culture and lifestyle in Canada.

Kevin explained his emotions at featuring on the prestigious list and gave more detail about the inspiration behind the programme.

He said: “I’m extremely grateful because there are so many people doing amazing things in different capacities.

On the list there were football players, coaches and politicians – just so many different professions and I was surprised that everything I was doing was recognised as significantly important to be alongside them.

I started playing basketball at ten years old and it was my friend’s dad who introduced me to the sport and mentored me until the age of 15. He was also a huge support in showing me the importance of school and religion, which was huge for my growth as a child.

When I was 12 year old, I broke my knee and the physiotherapist made the whole rehabilitation process really enjoyable for me as a young person. As a result, I was inspired to pursue a career as a physiotherapist and that’s why I’m at GCU now.

Along with my parents, I had those two mentors when I was growing up and once I finished my undergrad I wanted to stay in basketball but also provide similar mentorship opportunities to kids.”

Outside of the USA, Canada has the most players featuring in the NBA, however the programme is about so much more than developing the next generation of basketball talent.

Kevin explained: “It’s free to register and kids can contact professional athletes and also university coaches to get advice about basketball. We’ve got a really successful relationship with a WNBA player who has been a great role model.

We also offer services in things like sports psychology and nutrition through to financial literacy. Those involved get free academic tutoring and access to college grants and there’s even the option to go through spiritual development for young people to grow and maintain faith.”

He added: “Part of our success has been developing relationship between parents and kids - people have just gravitated towards the holistic approach we’re offering.

There are a lot of different camps available in Canada but none really offer everything that we have available and I’m really proud to be a part of that.”

You can read SHIFTER Magazine’s full list of Outstanding Black Men in Canada 2020 here

By Ross Clark
Got an SHLS or GSBS story? Email Ross.Clark@gcu.ac.uk or message me on Twitter