On Monday, June 14th, 2010, 40 talented young athletes will got the amazing opportunity to play on the very same court that the NBA’s Toronto Raptors call home. The 10th anniversary of the P.H.A.S.E. 1 All Canada Classic “Rumble in the T-Dot” was played out on the grandest stage yet: the floor of the Air Canada Centre, before an audience of more than six thousand people. To be chosen out of thousands of high school players from across the country to play in such a big game is an especial honour, but for four of those athletes, the honour was greater still. Natalie Achonwa, Wumi Agunbiade, Julian Clarke and Emerson Murray were featured on this year’s poster as the faces of the event.
“We wanted athletes that represent the best of what could be accomplished right here in our backyard in Canada,” stated ACC organizer, Wayne Dawkins, 2010
And these young men and women certainly fit that bill. Natalie was the youngest player to make the senior women’s national team; Wumi was a top prospect for the junior team that year; Julian led his team to the OFSAA championships; and Emerson was named MVP of the Western Canada Basketball Tournament. These are indeed very accomplished players, but what makes them more impressive still is the heart they have for the game and their attitudes of humility. There are no inflated egos in sight, but a remarkable sense of modesty and unselfishness from each of these players.
“I think being invited to be in the game let alone on the poster is the most exciting part for me. The poster is a great bonus to be able to be out there from a public standpoint. But I feel really privileged to be in the game.” – Natalie Achonwa, 2010
Despite the obvious opportunity for self-exposure, none of the athletes viewed their spot on the poster as just free publicity. Instead, they saw what a privilege it is to be selected and given a chance to represent the other 36 players.
“I think it’s a good opportunity to represent the upcoming class of basketball players. The All Canada Classic is an opportunity for 20 athletes to showcase their talent and play together. Being on the poster is a chance for me to represent all of that.” – Julian Clarke, 2010
These players have not only strong skill but strong character as well. Natalie, Wumi, Julian and Emerson reflect what the P.H.A.S.E. 1 All Canada Classic really stands for. They are more than just excellent basketball players. They have the heart and the attitude to back it up. This is what earned them the spot on this years P.H.A.S.E. 1 All Canada Classic 10th anniversary poster. So when you see their faces there on that poster, know that they deserved it.
Learn more at www.AllCanadaClassic.com