TORONTO, Ontario (May 4, 2018) – On Friday, April 27th, Raptors 905 player Kaza Kajami-Keane spoke with 70 youth from Toronto Community Housing’s Midnight Madness Basketball program about the challenges and successes he’s experienced in his basketball career and on his path to the Raptors 905 team and Team Canada. He offered advice, speaking directly with youth in the program about the challenges they’ve faced, how to overcome these difficulties, and how to reach him for future mentorship questions. As a speaker in the spring session of the Midnight Madness Basketball program, Kajami-Keane offered his real-world experiences and connected to the youth directly in his presentation about overcoming adversity and finding support in mentors and family.
“I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to give back to the community that helped make me into the person I am today! The event was stellar and very useful. I am eager to see the development of every young man and woman that was involved,” said Kaza Kajami-Keane.
Kajami-Keane’s participation in this program is through a partnership between the Raptors 905 and First Book Canada, a national nonprofit that connects children and youth to the books and educational resources they need to succeed. One of the books given to the participants that evening was The Pain and the Game written by Raptors 905 Assistant Coach Damany Hendrix. This program is generously supported by Compugen’s Green4Good program and Bank of Montreal.
“Out of our prior Midnight Basketball Player surveys, a professional basketball player was the #1 most sought over guest speaker request. I’d like to thank First Book Canada for arranging Raptors 905 player Kaza Kajami-Keane to lead a workshop for youth living in Toronto Community Housing. Many of the youth aspire to play basketball at the collegiate/professional level and it was vital to hear from Mr. Kajami-Keane on the sacrifice and hard work it takes to get to that level,” said Justin Ahn, Resident and Community Services Program Coordinator at Toronto Community Housing. “Furthermore, when the players received their books courtesy of First Book Canada, they were excited and we were glad to meet one our program goals, which is to promote literacy. Overall, the night was a success with great action both on and off the court!”
About First Book Canada
First Book Canada provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. By making new, high quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis, First Book Canada is transforming the lives of children and elevating the quality of education in the country. Since 2009, First Book Canada has distributed over 6 million new books to hundreds of thousands of children in need across Canada. For more information, or to register for books, visit us at firstbookcanada.org and follow our latest news on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Tom Best, Executive Director, First Book Canada
866.732.3669 ext. 0130