Healthy CommunitiesHealthy Kids

NBA All-Star basketball fun makes it to Toronto!

08 February 2016 - by Talía Noya
This weekend, Toronto will host the first NBA All-Star game outside of the US. And leading up to All-Star weekend, the YMCA has been hosting some special events!

Training with the NBA

NBA Legend Isiah Thomas helping kids with basketball drillsAsk any kid at the YMCA about what inspires them to play, and without fail they will name an NBA athlete as a source of motivation. NBA players are, without a doubt, healthy role models to have. They are dedicated, strong, brave and driven. That’s why it was so exciting to have NBA Legend Isiah Thomas visit Scarborough Town Centre Ct. YMCA for BMO NBA KidsFest.


Raptor Dance Pak teaching a routineHe took part in some clinics organized by BMO and NBA Canada. Kids aged 8-13 were able to run some drills and shoot hoops the Raptor, Raptors Dance Pak, and Thomas. Nothing beats learning from someone who is a twelve-time NBA All-Star, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, an NBA Coach, and an NBA broadcast commentator!

Painted tiles to be used for All-Star game muralThere was lots of fun to be had. All who showed up had the opportunity to learn some dance routines with the Pak, measure up to their favourite athletes, take photos with Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, play at various NBA gaming stations and paint tiles that will make up a mural to be displayed at the All-Star game. Additional NBA clinics, like the ones we hosted last year, were held at YMCAs in downtown Toronto, Markham, Durham and North York!
Lorenzo started off as a basketball player at Scarborough YMCA at age 4 and now promotes leadership development across a variety of YMCA activities as a Teen Programs Specialist. "We were able to serve so many people, it was amazing," says Lorenzo. "The displays and activities were fun and interactive. It was very heartwarming to see some of the kids interacting with Isiah Thomas - they will remember this entire experience forever."

The YMCA’s love for basketball

When basketball classes aren’t scheduled on our courts, our gym space is booked for pick-up. At the YMCA, basketball is more than a game, more than a physical activity - it’s a way of getting involved with the community, developing team-building skills, making new friends and growing self-confidence! The YMCA has a long history with the sport, it was invented 125 years ago by none other than a Canadian YMCA gym teacher, Dr. James Naismith. To honour this milestone, some of our very own YMCA kids were chosen to play an exhibition game during the Skills Competition on Saturday night as part of All-Star weekend. So keep an eye out for our young talent!


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