Shakwon Barrett - Aiming for Success
It's been a long journey from middle school to my first year of University. I've met a lot of people and participated in many extracurricular programs that helped mould me into the person I am today. From my days at Rockcliffe Middle School, the support I received kept me on track and focused at all times. Our teachers, Mr. Clarke and Mr. Blackwood used basketball as a tool to keep us out of trouble and give us something positive to do. During the summer, the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation offered a Youth Basketball Program to keep us engaged. I consider myself to have been blessed with numerous opportunities to participate in sports. As time progressed, basketball programs weren't enough, I wanted to take a step forward and become more competitive. That's when I was introduced to Falstaff Community Centre and the Grassroots Organization, where I began to develop as a person and an athlete.
Many of the mentors that I met seen my potential and pushed me every day, both on and off the court. Coach Ro, Patrick, Huggy, and Wilton Hall (Youth Outreach Worker) thought so highly of me that I was presented with the opportunity to attend Findlay Prep School in Henderson, Nevada for my junior and senior year of high school. I learned a lot from the very experienced coaching staff and the high level players at Findlay Prep. My two years there didn't go as planned, but adversity is the best way to grow! After picking up a few scholarship offers from other schools, I still felt as if my skills were not adequately highlighted, so I decided to enroll in a post-graduate program at the Tech Academy in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario under head coach Ed Smith.
Overall, my route to college wasn't as easy or as comfortable as I had anticipated, but it was well worth the wait. I was never coddled, I was never handed anything, and I always had to work for what I wanted. That's why my commitment to Tulane University, and playing under Coach Mike Dunleavy Sr., means so much to me. This is only the beginning of a new journey, and I plan to continue surprising people along the way.