TORONTO - Team Canada's Roy Rana and members of Ryerson's men's basketball team traveled to Senegal, West Africa to participate in the annual Hoop Forum courtesy of SEED Project (Sports for Education and Economic Development). The event took place from May 4 to May 7 and provided a weekend of basketball, social impact and cultural enrichment.
SEED Project is a non-profit organization which uses the game of basketball to motivate students to succeed in school, while also using the basketball court as a classroom to teach important leadership and life skills.
The Hoop Forum is the SEED Project's annual event bringing together non-profits, corporations and individuals to use sport as a tool for development across Africa. This weekend includes basketball camps, community engagement events, leadership and education workshops, cultural activities and networking events. Rana was among elite international basketball coaches and professional team personnel from the NBA and FIBA to work with the Senegal basketball community.
"This experience has further opened my mind and shown me the beauty of Senegal and helped me appreciate all that we have at home. The people here are proud and do so much with so little while managing to always have a smile on their face. Their generosity and hospitality has been amazing. I'm just happy to be able to give to the young kids we worked with during our time here. It's been a powerful and special time."
--- Adika Peter McNeilly, Ryerson Rams guard
"As a leader it is always important that we continue to be grounded and committed to our purpose. Although often we fixate on results, the growth and development of the young people we lead is paramount. If we believe sport is a vehicle to help improve lives and prepare our athletes for the future, opening minds to the different realities of life in our own communities and beyond is something we must continue to strive for in our program. These trips don't just change our athletes in positive ways - they become the foundation of our culture and our true measure of success. I'm just happy to be able to grow from it as well."
--- Roy Rana, Head Coach, Ryerson Rams and Canadian Junior Men's National Team