Young Alumni Award 2008 - Mano Watsa

Basketball legend and youth role model receives inaugural award

mano watsaThe Faculty of Applied Health Sciences is proud to honour Mano Watsa as the inaugural recipient of the AHS Young Alumni Award.

This new award recognizes exceptional young alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years, and who inspire their peers, other young alumni, recent graduates, and current students through their significant contributions to their profession, their community, the university, and to their own personal development.

Mano graduated from UW in 1999 with a BA in Recreation and Business. During his time on campus, Mano was a member of UW's Men's Basketball Team from 1994-1999. As a Captain of the team he was a two-time All-Canadian, led the team to the OUA-West Championship and a berth at the National Championships in Halifax in 1998. That same season, Mano was selected as the University of Waterloo 's Male Athlete of the Year and was also named the Ken Shield's TSN Award Winner for outstanding achievement in basketball, academics, and community involvement.

While still a teen, Mano founded Watsa Basketball that has grown over the years and has had over 3200 campers take part.

Building on his entrepreneurial spirit and experience as a “Team Up” volunteer in university, Mano established the “Power to Choose Assemblies” in 2000 to inspire young people to make the right choices in life and to demonstrate the powerful impact of doing so. These assemblies have reached over 250,000 students in 500 schools.

In 2002 Mano established the Point Guard Academy to teach leadership skills and the mental aspect of basketball to student athletes that grew into a nationwide program attracting over 300 athletes a year. The success of the Point Guard Academy drew attention from a much larger program in the United States which led to a successful merger – creating the Point Guard College in 2007 where Mano now serves as President. The newly formed company attracts 3200 athletes a year in 12 countries, employs 7 full-time staff, and 40 summer staff.

In addition to Mano's business ventures, he was the Head Coach of UW's Women's Basketball team from 2004-2007 and was an Assistant Coach with UW's Men's Basketball team from 2001-2004.

He has held long-time volunteer positions with both the Trinity Anglican Church and Hope Manor Prison. He has also volunteered with a range of local organizations and charities as a guest speaker.

Mano was a role model as a student and continues to be one as a parent, successful businessman, donor, and community leader. He resides just outside of New Hamburg with his wife Kate and three children, Isaac, Zachary, and Anna.

Mano is an inspiration to all those who have had the privilege to know him and the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences is proud to honour him as its inaugural Young Alumni Award recipient.