Blogs July 29,2022

Hoop Dreams: The Power of Basketball

Trevor Williams Basketball Camp: basketball and life skills

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Montreal.
Young people of all ethnicities have hoop dreams, most aspiring to one day play at the highest level like Division One college basketball in the United States or even the NBA.
Trevor Williams was one of those kids who had his dream come true. He played for Southern University A&M College in Louisiana and for Saint Peter’s University in New Jersey and was a former member of the Canadian national men’s basketball team. He played against the famous US Dream Team in 1992.
Upon his return to Montreal after college, he decided to start a basketball camp for kids of all ages with his childhood friends Dean Smith and Michael McLean. He realized that a camp like this was needed because back in the 80’s when he grew up, they didn’t have anything of the sort. He had to attend a basketball camp in the States.
He also wanted to give young boys and girls a safe haven and keep them off the streets. It was a positive outlet to let their energy out especially in the summer.
Williams says he is yet to accomplish all his goals because he feels that it is a never-ending task. “The goal is to help everybody. If you help one or two, it’s good enough but you want to try and help as many people as possible and that takes every year,” he says.
“Our goal is to try and teach life skills. We use basketball to teach respect, perseverance, how to get along with each other, how to win, how to accept losing. Those are all the life skills that once you finish playing sports that’s going to take you to the next level.”
He has been successfully running the Trevor Williams Basketball camp since 1993. He started off with 11 children and it has now grown to over 300 children a week. He has four different locations; Westmount, Lasalle Community Comprehensive High School, Lower Canada College and Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School.
The camp also gives student-athletes a job for the summer. His number one requirement is for them to still be in school. His interest is always their education. He wants them to succeed not only in sports but also academically.
He has impacted a lot of young men and women’s lives.
Jefferson Koulibaly is one of them. He attended the camp and went on to do great things. In 2020, he was named All-Canadian Player Of The Year. He then committed to Washington State University. After two years, he transferred to Southern Methodist University where he currently attends.
Jefferson says: “I feel like Trevor’s camp helped me with my development as a player by teaching me at an early age what it was to be disciplined and how to compete. We had to be at the gym by eight in the morning five times a week and we stayed until three in the afternoon working on our games.
We also competed for championships and awards all week which made every game meaningful. This was also a way to promote playing at higher levels by performing better than your peers.”
He learned the exact concept that Williams wanted to spread young athletes.
The Trevor Williams Basketball Camp has impacted the lives of countless children not only with basketball, but also their personal lives.
Williams has them with life lessons they could use for their whole lives.

Chicago tournament is fertile ground for scouts and coaches
Montréal Bluehounds take on the Nike Tournament of Champions

Oxn the weekend of July 10, as part of the TWKF (Trevor Williams Kids Foundation) Montréal Bluehounds, I participated in the largest NCAA women’s basketball event in the United States, the Nike Tournament of Champions. It was an extremely motivating and eye-opening experience.
This tournament is held annually in Chicago, Illinois, at the McCormick Place , the largest convention center in North America, housing 69 full size basketball courts.
The Nike Tournament of Champions is also an amazing opportunity for female athletes to gain exposure. Thousands of college coaches attend to scout up and coming players
There were approximately 672 teams from across the United States and Canada participating this year. The Bluehounds did not shy away from the competition and made their mark.
There were three Bluehounds teams in the tournament. The teams were based on age and graduation year as well as level. Team One consisted of players graduating in 2023-2024, Team Two are players graduating in 2024-2025-2026 and Team Three was the junior and development team.
Each team worked hard and well together throughout the tournament. It was also important for players to stand out individually as a way to attract attention from college coaches in hopes of obtaining a scholarship.
Team One, won the championship for their division, having gone undefeated for the whole tournament. Team Two placed fourth and Team Three came in seventh place for their divisions.
I was a part of Team Two and we went up against fierce competition from teams such as the California Cal Stars, Missouri Phenom and the Jersey Gemz.
We met the challenge and won four out of the five games.
It was my first time participating in such a large and high-level tournament. As expected, players were much more aggressive and intense with girls who were bigger and stronger than at the local level.
Also, the speed of the game was much faster driven by players who had a strong desire to win.
The McCormick Place was packed with thousands of people who were excited to watch and play basketball. Hundreds of games were occurring simultaneously.
I made sure to stay focused on my game and perform at my best as it could potentially earn me a scholarship as well as a championship for the team.
When I first stepped onto the court my adrenaline was pumping. After weeks of practice and conditioning, I was finally here to compete and put my knowledge, skill and fitness to the test.
On the court, I worked my hardest, getting rebounds, running the lanes of the court and taking shots. On the bench my teammates and I were constantly cheering to encourage each other.
The Nike Tournament of Champions was a great opportunity and experience for me and the other members of the Montréal Bluehounds. Competing at such a high level gave me even more motivation to develop and improve as a basketball player.
Being part of such a large tournament dedicated for female athletes was also empowering. It shows that female sports are gaining more recognition and that women athletes are indeed on the rise.
The Bluehounds came away from this tournament satisfied. By emerging champions of their division, Team One marked a great achievement for Montreal players.
Overall each player was able to grow and develop through this experience, having played against some of the top players and teams in the U.S.