These are just some of the many descriptive titles for community activist and basketball enthusiast Wayne Dawkins. His contribution to a number of hoops programs and charities throughout the greater Toronto area (GTA), alongside his love for coaching basketball to youth has awarded him with a great place of leadership in the Canadian basketball community.
Having spent more than 10 years as a high school educator for the Toronto district school board (TDSB), Dawkins’ teaching approach surpassed standard expectations for motivating students to succeed. His ambitious efforts of encouraging youth to realize their potential, has assisted hundreds of student-athletes in earning scholarships. He states, “My numerous years as a teacher and coach have allowed me to grow immensely in my ability to manage and motivate young athletes.”
MOTIVATOR & MENTOR.
Dawkins’ passion for coaching, leading, and teaching youth life skills extended far beyond the classroom. Whether students obtained an NCAA scholarship or acceptance into a Canadian post-secondary institution, Dawkins’ goal is to elevate youth progress athletically, socially, and academically.
No stranger to being a student-athlete himself, Dawkins had received numerous accolades prior to his college career, which included two Metro All-Star team selections, and a gold medal as captain of the Ontario Provincial team. Dawkins then pursued a degree in Secondary Education while attended Eastern Michigan University (EMU) on a full four-year basketball scholarship. He later transferred to American International College (AIC) where he played as the starting point-guard, and completed his degree in ‘95.
Dawkins, who is of Jamaican-Canadian descent, has lived in many places, which include Jamaica, various Canadian provinces and the United States of America; he currently resides in Scarborough, Ontario with his wife, Kim, and their daughter Toni. Also a devout Christian, Dawkins applies his Christian teachings and values to all areas of his life, no matter what the cause, whether it is family, his profession, or helping others.
TRAINER & COACH.
Throughout his vast career, Dawkins has spearheaded and co-founded several basketball-focused projects in the community that has developed basketball training centres, National College Exposure Camps, and many other initiatives. He has also pioneered a series of coaching clinics, Canadian AAU travel teams, tournaments, and house leagues that were facilitated within local inner-city community centres.
Dawkins has made it his mission to inspire and motivate youth through the medium of basketball. Influencing youth by encouraging confidence-building and achieving success external to the game of hoops had reshaped the image of a student “athlete”. Mentoring and coaching youth showed progression within the basketball community, this in turn, continued to expand Dawkins’ own brand.
“I have a deeply rooted passion for coaching and working with youth in varying capacities. Equally important is my enthusiasm for elevating the game of basketball.”
In 2000, Dawkins founded and established PHASE 1 Basketball, an organization committed to athlete development. His initiative extends beyond basketball, and the classroom setting, with programs being based around personal development, community engagement and education. PHASE 1 prepares youth on the basketball court, but most importantly for their futures by guiding and sending hundreds of athletes to school to pursue post-secondary studies.
By growing different basketball programs across the GTA, Dawkins’ has been more than a coach, but a mentor to hundreds of student-athletes, many of whom have earned success in their collegiate careers (i.e Denham Brown [UCONN] and Jevohn Shepherd [Michigan]). Dawkins’ knows the importance of finding great mentors:
“I have been blessed with the opportunity to work alongside, and be mentored by some of North America’s greatest coaches including Mike Katz, U. Of Toronto, Roy Rana, Eastern Commmerce C.I., Ben Braun, U. California, Gary Waters, Cleveland State U. and many more. Each of these talented and successful coaches has shaped my coaching ability.”
PHASE 1 Basketball includes several other basketball programs that are highly recognized by the basketball community. Some initiatives include the All Canada Classic (2000), a national high-school all-star game played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and the All Canada Prospect Camp (2000). PHASE 1 also has the Lady Elite 1’s, the Elite Semi-Pro team, the Rising Star Showcase,and so much more.
Dawkins’ has transferred his passion for coaching and inspiring youth by shaping PHASE 1 basketball to be more than a basketball academy, but a project focussed on enhancing the development of successful young citizens. His tenacity, drive, determination and faith have helped him root his vision to help others within the basketball community. Dawkins’ vision is still growing, and he is continuously developing projects to further enhance what the PHASE 1 basketball brand represents.
Dawkins is formerly the head coach of the men’s basketball team at Seneca College, where he was awarded the “2010 OCAA Coach of the Year” award.