In the 90’s when Jamal Maglore was recruited by Kentucky and drafted to the NBA, Toronto was essentially considered barren as a recruitment destination. In the past 10-15 years the GTA has become a hotbed for basketball talent, both in the NCAA, NBA and abroad. What do you attribute this explosion to?
I think the love of the game of basketball has expanded across the world. Basketball is such a global sport now & as Canadians we finally started taking basketball serious. Everywhere you turn now it's not only about hockey anymore in our country.
Who do you look up to an inspiration to in life and who is your all time favourite player, either past or present, and why?
My biggest inspiration are my parents. All the sacrifices they made for me & my siblings you cant put a price tag on. They have taught me about god, love & hard-work! My all time favorite player has to be rajon rondo, he is probably one of the best passers I've ever seen. He is special because he's a player that can effect a basketball game without his scoring & helping the game be easier for his teammates.
You were born in the DR Congo and moved to Canada at a young age. When did you start playing Basketball? When did you know you were going to make a career of it?
I started playing basketball when I was 12 years old. Soccer is my first love. I didn't know I could make it this far with the game it's a blessing to have it be my career. This summer getting the chance to head Back to Congo to play for my national team was life changing and an experience I will never forget because we are writing a chapter in history that has never been for my country as far as basketball goes & it's only the beginning!
You grew up in the Blake-Boultbee neighborhood of Toronto, a community that’s had many challenges over the years due to poverty and crime. How did you (and your siblings who have experienced great successes of their own) stay focused and avoid travelling down the wrong path?
My parents are a huge part of the discipline me and my siblings have. I believe in life you have choices to make either right or wrong, which ever you pick you will have to live with & knowing that in the back of my head I always stayed away from what would not help me progress with the game of basketball. Plus I have a little brother who looks up to me & I have to be an example for him.
What is the toughest challenge you’ve faced in your athletic career / life. How did you overcome it?
The biggest achievement so far is being able to represent my country on a world stage. It doesn't get any better than that. I'm always striving to just be the best human I can be first and then basketball player so In the next 5 years I hope to be better at both than I was today.
What achievement in your career are you most proud of thus far? What are you still striving for and do you hope to achieve in the next five years?
Me. I'm ultra competitive & I hate losing!