Campus Champions - Antony Nembhard

Laurie Stephens
Image of Antony Nembhard

Antony Nembhard graduated from UTSC in 1998 with an honors degree in English and French, but found he just couldn’t leave the university behind. For the past 17 years, he has been UTSC’s men’s basketball coach, fulfilling his passion for the game and imparting his knowledge to a new generation of student athletes.

Nembhard’s family moved from Jamaica to Scarborough when he was young. As a student at UTSC he juggled school, work and play – he participated in a number of sports at the intramural level – relying on his organizational skills to balance it all.

But his first love is basketball: playing, teaching and officiating the game. He began coaching just prior to graduation and also started Basketball Basics, a not-for-profit organization that teaches social skills to community youth through the game of basketball.

Nembhard credits the staff in UTSC’s Physical Education and Athletics department for helping him share his knowledge of the game with hundreds of students, some of whom stay in contact long after they have graduated.  “It is a self-satisfying cycle that makes me feel like I am a positive contributor to the next generation.”

He had hoped that the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre (TPASC) at UTSC was going to host the Toronto2015 Pan Am & Para Pan American Games basketball competition and was determined to participate in some way. So he was disappointed to discover the competition was being held at Ryerson University.

But that doesn’t dull his excitement for the TPASC, a facility he likens to a second home. “UTSC being a part of the Pan Am Games is definitely history in the making.  Whether I'm in the building or not when it happens, I still feel like I'm a part of it because it was my graduating class and every class after, who laid the foundations for something like this to even be possible.”