If you were like me growing up you were never certain what career path you wanted to follow because you had a father for a guidance counselor and a mother who was full of suggestions. To top it off, most of my life as a young athlete was focused on playing sports and simply getting better at the game of my choice rather than on my career.

It was somewhere during university, I decided a career in sneakers would be a good fit for me because by working at the local Footlocker I could purchase sneakers cheaper than sticker price and the language of the business was intimately familiar with sports; so interacting with customers was always a positive experience because I could identify with their needs.

Tonight, twenty years of sports experience coupled with twenty years of fashion experience were quickly fused together to create a new rookie experience for me by the same man who motivated my career path, Michael Jordan. When I arrived at Mattamy Athletic Center, I received a Press Badge, and entered the stadium not knowing what to expect other than mayhem and mayhem it was.

Similar to the high school games my pops used to take me to at U of T when the Harlem Globe Trotters used to come to town, the inaugural Jordan Invitational pits two of Canada’s best high school teams, Henry Carr & Orangeville Prep against Redondo Union & Oak Hill respectively.

A lot has changed in the thirty years since I first attended those games with dad. Canada has a basketball team, Canada has basketball prospects and Canada is driving the cultural experience felt in gymnasiums across North America. From my view in the Press Pit sitting next to familiar faces from both my professional and personal life, I set up my computer and immediately felt like I was a part of a larger team to working to help build the experience of basketball in Canada.

See for the past XXX years Michael Jordan brought communities of athletes together with intoxicating product, rule breaking campaigns and on-court performance that for those that cared this content was only available through print and television. Somewhere along the line, the internet opened up that experience making the sports, fashion and lifestyle cultures an international experience that consumed by new generations of youth.

So as I sit here and think about playing in the Air Jordan XXX’s on Sunday, in front of my son I think about what that experience will mean to him, what the next XX years of Jordan will look like? I’m also bugging out that three clips or living this brand feels like nothing and with Drake as the new leader of the pack, Toronto is poised to carry the torch for global cultural marketing for the next fifty years. All of a sudden dropping a couple of games to the American’s feel meaningless.

Final Scores:

Henry Carr 72 – Redondo Union 97

Orangeville Prep 67 – Oak Hill 77


Mr. Burke

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