Entrepenuer. Motivator. Mentor. Coach. Pioneer.
These are just some of the many descriptive titles for community activist and basketball enthusiast Wayne Dawkins. His contribution to a number of hoops programs and charities throughout the greater Toronto area (GTA), alongside his love for developing youth has awarded him with a great place of leadership in the Canadian community. Dawkins’ has recently lead the expantion of P.H.A.S.E. 1 to Arizona in an effort to transcend boarders and further support the international community.
Having spent more than 10 years as a high school educator for the Toronto district school board (TDSB), Dawkins’ teaching approach surpassed standard expectations for motivating students to succeed. His ambitious efforts of encouraging youth to realize their potential, has assisted hundreds of student-athletes in earning scholarships. He states, “My numerous years as a teacher and coach have allowed me to grow immensely in my ability to manage and motivate young people, while teaching them how to use their talents for more than just game play.” Dawkins own basketball talent was recognized by EA Sports as they chose him to be their motion capture talent for NBA 2k Live 2002 opening a door for Dawkins to see the how much more opportunities one's talent can create.
Dawkins’ passion for coaching, leading, and teaching youth life skills extended far beyond the classroom. Whether students obtained an NCAA scholarship or acceptance into a Canadian post-secondary institution, Dawkins’ goal is to elevate youth progress athletically, socially, and academically. Dawkins impact on the community was significant enough it caught the attention of award winning children’s author, Eric Walters, who honoured Dawkins community efforts by making him the main character in Eric’s best selling children’s novel “Home Team”, written in collaboration with Jerome “JYD” Williams (NBA Toronto Raptors) and Johnnie Williams.
No stranger to being a student-athlete himself, Dawkins had received numerous accolades prior to his College career, which included two Metro All-Star team selections, and a gold medal as captain of the Ontario Provincial team. Dawkins then pursued a degree in Secondary Education while he attended Eastern Michigan University (EMU) on a full four-year basketball scholarship. He later transferred to American International College (AIC) where he played as the starting point-guard, and completed his degree in ‘95.
Dawkins, who is of Jamaican-Canadian descent, has lived in many places, which include Jamaica, various Canadian provinces and the United States of America; he currently resides between Toronto, Ontario and Phoenix, Arizona. Also a devout Christian, Dawkins applies his Christian teachings and values to all areas of his life, no matter what the cause, whether it is family, his profession, or helping others.
Throughout his vast career, Dawkins has spearheaded and co-founded several basketball-focused projects in the community that has developed basketball training centres, National College Exposure Camps, and many other initiatives. He has also pioneered a series of coaching clinics, Canadian AAU travel teams (most notably Grassroots Canada, Canada’s most powerful AAU Club), tournaments, and house leagues that were facilitated within local inner-city community centres.
Dawkins has made it his mission to inspire and motivate youth through the medium of basketball. Influencing youth by encouraging confidence-building and achieving success external to the game of hoops had reshaped the image of a student “athlete”. Mentoring and coaching youth showed progression within the basketball community, this in turn, continued to expand Dawkins’ own brand.
“I have a deeply rooted passion for developing and working with youth in varying capacities. Equally important is my enthusiasm for developing youth into entrepenuers.”
In 2000, Dawkins founded and established P.H.A.S.E. 1, an organization committed to the holistic development of student athletes. His initiative extends beyond basketball, and the classroom setting, with programs being based around personal development, community engagement and education. P.H.A.S.E. 1 prepares youth on the basketball court, but most importantly for their futures by guiding and sending hundreds of athletes to school to pursue post-secondary studies.
By growing different basketball programs across the GTA, Dawkins’ has been more than a coach, but a mentor to hundreds of student-athletes, many of whom have earned success in their collegiate careers (i.e Andrew Nicholson [St. Bonaventure U., Orlando Magic], Denham Brown [U. Connecticut, Seattle Supersonics] , Wumi Agunbiade [Duquesne U.], Amanda Davidson [Alcorn St. U.] and Jevohn Shepherd [U. Michigan]). Dawkins’ knows the importance of finding great mentors:
“I have been blessed with the opportunity to work alongside, and be mentored by some of North America’s greatest coaches including Mike Katz, U. Of Toronto, Roy Rana, Eastern Commmerce C.I., Ben Braun, U. California, Gary Waters, Cleveland State U. and many more. Each of these talented and successful coaches has shaped my coaching ability.” Dawkins credits these mentors for helping him to be awarded “2010 OCAA Coach of the Year” as the head coach of the men’s basketball team at Seneca College.
P.H.A.S.E. 1 includes several basketball programs that are highly recognized by the basketball community. Some initiatives included the All Canada Classic (2000), Canada’s longest running national high-school all-star game played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and the All Canada Prospect Camp (2000). P.H.A.S.E. 1 programs also include the Lady Elite 1’s, the Elite 1’s Semi-Pro League, the Rising Star Showcase, National Prep School Athletic Association and so much more.
Dawkins’ has transferred his passion for coaching and inspiring youth by shaping P.H.A.S.E. 1 to be more than a basketball academy, but a project focussed on enhancing the development of successful young citizens. His tenacity, drive, determination and faith have helped him root his vision to help others within the basketball community. Dawkins’ vision is still growing, and he is continuously developing projects to further enhance what the P.H.A.S.E. 1 brand represents.
Dawkins is currently in the first year of a major project to develop PHASE 1 International LLC in Phoenix, Arizona. Dawkins is excited to begin this new venture that will allow him to impact even more people from all over the world.