10 years ago, inspired by my work in the community, Canada’s #1 children’s author Eric Walters collaborated with Johnnie Williams and former Toronto Raptor, Jerome “JYD” Williams to write a best selling children’s novel called Home Team. The author’s chose to honor me by having the main characters challenged with trying to get “Wayne Dawkins”, a fictional Toronto Raptors NBA basketball Star to visit them at their school and work with them to send shoes to underprivileged children in another country.
Eric Walters, Wayne Dawkins and Johnnie Williams III – Home Team Book Signing
The honor also inspired a bold initiative by P.H.A.S.E. 1 Youth Association. We would start a 10-10-10 campaign to promote literacy, placing 10,000 students in the Air Canada Centre on June 14, 2010 in conjunction with the release of Eric Walter’s highly anticipated 10th instalment in his series of basketball novels called Home Team. While celebrating the 10th anniversary of P.H.A.S.E. 1’s All Canada Classic-Rumble in the T-Dot National High School All Star Game.
The 10th anniversary event fell short of our attendance goal of 10,000 students, drawing just over 6,000 fans to gather for our literacy and basketball campaign. However we scored a huge win for literacy with hundreds of contest submissions in several categories. All our final student winners received a monetary scholarship prize for their outstanding work and the novel Home Team continued on to be solidified as a best seller!
The 10th Anniversary of the All Canada Classic Rumble in the T-Dot did not disappoint the many fans on hand for the historic event. Both games featured Canada’s best high school prospects and future NBA, WNBA and Canadian National Team players, Kyle Wiltjer, Sim Bhueller, Anthony Bennett, Natalie Achonwa, Michelle Plouffe, Kevin Pangos, Myck Kabongo and many more that went on to play professionally (visit www.AllCanadaClassic.com for full rosters).
I would like to start by saying thank you to Eric, Johnnie and JYD for an incredible honor that still remains one of the most special milestone’s in my life. Recognition of this kind is often reserved for the rich, famous or bigger organizations. I would like to give thanks to Jesus for the recognition and pray it inspire’s many more to choose to serve their communities in Faith and Works regardless of what you have in life.
Finally I would like to publicly and personally thank the following people that helped P.H.A.S.E. 1 Youth Association make history in the Canadian Basketball Community:
Jim Clark who believed in me and helped to convince Bob Hunter, CEO of Maple Leaf Sports to let a “brother” rent his Air Canada Centre.
Chris Spence’s “Read to Achieve” program and the Toronto District School Board staff for supporting students to attend and also participating in our staff exhibition game.
The African Canadian Leadership Committee students from Weston CI, their founder Chris Reid and principal Deborah Blair for organizing the entertainment and contests.
Marsha McDonald for heading up our 10-10-10 Literacy Campaign.
Tristan Clunis for the creative design of the event poster campaign.
The P.HA.S.E. 1 Youth Association family of directors and volunteers that supported my crazy ideas.
All the athletes, parents and fans that came out to the 10th Anniversary of the All Canada Classic-Rumble in the T-Dot and helped make it a truly a one of a kind, historic Canadian basketball event.
Mark Bayne and Nike for the tremendous support.
As always my whole family Toni, Kevin, Basil, KJ, Kaylin, mom and dad that unconditionally come out and do whatever is needed to support me.
Until the next anniversary…God Bless
Wayne Dawkins, P.H.A.S.E. 1, Founder