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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Beyrouti

Giving back when you don't have to... with the Toronto Raptors

Updated: Oct 4, 2018


I've wanted to write a blog for a long time but never got around to it. I was doing some work this morning and listening to Gary V - Episode 290 with Scott Belsky, and they convinced me to do it. On top of that, I had a very cool experience a couple days ago that I thought I should share, so here goes! Feel free to share with people if you think there is any relevance to your life =)

On Friday, September 28, I went to a coaching clinic with the Toronto Raptors. It started in the classroom with one of their lead scouts, Patrick Engelbrecht, and he talked about going around the world scouting players for the Raptors. He has some serious responsibilities, so for him to take the time to chat with us for an hour himself was very cool to all of us.


We then went on to the basketball court to watch practice. It was the day before a game, and although the team didn’t go for very long, we sat down and got to ask questions from the assistant coaches Nate Bjorkgren, Adrian Griffin, Sergio Scariolo and finished off with head coach, Nick Nurse. After the coaches talk, we even had Jack Sikma talk to us about what he does with the team and his career in the NBA as a player and coach.


Assistant coach, Nate Bjorkgren talked about his journey from coaching high school to getting into the D league, and now being a top assistant of an NBA team. He said that if you have a goal and a dream, put yourself in a position where you can achieve it, and just grind your way to where you want to go.

Adrian Griffin is in charge of the team's defense and talked about how great players are great players, so you just want to try and limit the ways they can hurt you. I thought that was interesting, because that translates into business and life really. What can get in your way to success? Limit those things, don’t let them have free reign over your life, and try to find a way to be successful.

Next up came Sergio Scariolo, he coached the Spanish National team that almost beat team USA several times in the Olympics and was a top coach in Europe. He came to share some of his offensive concepts.

Finally Coach Nurse wrapped it all up talking about the job and how he ended up in the position.


The reason I thought this whole things was cool, was for a couple of reasons. These guys don’t need to be here and spend over an hour with 17 coaches going over questions and processes about what helped them get to where they are. Someone helped them back in the day when they were growing up, so they feel it’s their responsibility to do the same. They all went over their allocated time, all of them. They are in one of the hardest positions someone can have in their profession, so it would be very easy for them to say, "coaching clinic? We are trying to make the NBA finals and we just got this job, you want us to do a coaching clinic?" But instead, Coach Nick Nurse and the entire staff went through and answered every question we had from hiring staff and the qualities they looked for, to worrying about the season while getting ready for playoffs, to working through all the new players they have. The staff went through their team systems, their thought processes, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

None of the attendees at this event could ever help them or give them something they could use - it was purely an act of giving back and encouraging the next generation, or just some people coaching some high school kids and helping build the game.


This translates to business, this translates to life, this translates to everything.


A special thank you to Dawn Smyth and Canada Basketball for putting it on and giving coaches access. This has challenged myself and our company,

Venue Kings to find new ways to give back to the community we live in and hopefully it does the same for you as well.

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