Staples Spotlight – Life Lessons on the Basketball Court

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“I’M HERE!!” yell each player of the CK Special Populations Shoot for the Starts basketball program as they enter the Gregory Drive Public School every Wednesday night for a 8 week program. Each night as players arrive, they run up to Coach Lorri with their homework from the previous week, ready to get their stamp and with an excited attitude about learning new basketball skills. Coach Lorri has only three rules when it comes to playing basketball: Try harder; we don’t say ‘I can’t’. Respect yourself, others, and the coaches. HAVE FUN!

This program is designed to give each individual an opportunity to grow, learn, and play a sport that they thoroughly enjoy. It is a fun and relaxed environment where they are able to learn ball handling, dribbling, shooting, and passing, along with stretching and running drills. Each night, Coach Lorri breaks down the drills into small achievable steps so that success it achieved every time.

We want the players to learn the fundamentals of basketball, have fun, and have the opportunity to make friends. When the players were asked what their favourite part of the program was, they commented that they enjoyed playing basketball with their friends, scoring baskets, and playing an actual basketball game. Parents and support staff enjoy watching the smiles on the individual’s faces as they achieve something they did not think they could do. Alex likes coming to the program because he can be just like his older brother Ethan, who also enjoys playing basketball.

“To me there is one player that particularly sticks out when thinking about how each player has improved. When we began this program, one individual did not like to follow the first rule; no saying ‘I can’t’, but as she learned and improved, she went from saying “I can’t” to saying “I can”. Now not only is she able to dribble, pass, and shoot the ball, she also tries her hardest to steal the ball from others when playing a game” explains Coach Lorri.

For more information about the CK Special Populations program, you can contact (519) 352-7354 ext. 4226, Find us on Facebook or email at

Photo credits and submitted by Cindy McFadden, Special Populations Coordinator