Born in Jamaica, Gary Durrant immigrated to Canada at the age of 13. Using basketball as a catalyst, Durrant’s focus and determination coupled with a strong and supportive mother and stepfather, won him many victories on and off the court including being named Valedictorian of his high school graduating class while simultaneously being named All American in basketball.
Durrant’s achievements of excellence in both academics and athletics earned him a full scholarship to Florida Atlantic University, which later lead to a career playing Pro Basketball in Europe. He is also the only Canadian in history to win the NCAA Slam Dunk Championship.
After playing basketball overseas, Durrant came back to Canada to teach youth who are often termed as ‘at-risk’. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Education and a strong commitment to give back, he also started a non-profit organization called Gary Durrant Basketball Association. This organization provides diverse youth from across Ontario a safe place to learn fundamentals for basketball and for life. It provides youth with free tutoring, mentoring, assistance finding scholarships, employment, clothes, short term housing, and financial assistance where possible.
Gary is the former President of Operations for the Oshawa Power (now the Mississauga Power) of the newly formed NBL Canada
professional basketball league. Building on his experience as a player, coach and business leader, Gary took on the founding role of building a sustainable basketball program in the GTA, managing the process of building a professional team, developing players and creating excitement on and off the court.
Now, after years of teaching on and off the court, he has emerged as a leader in the field of personal development and the achievement of excellence by providing leadership to individuals, teams, organizations, corporate professionals, and communities at-large. Durrant, currently serves as York Region District School Board’s Student and Community Liaison Officer to the African and Caribbean Community. Whether he is sitting on the Harry Jerome Awards Selection Committee or recruiting and interviewing prospective teacher’s college candidates for York University, Durrant is blazing trails for others who are determined to experience excellence. One of his philosophies is taken from a native belief which states ‘we are in a relationship with our community.’ For this reason, Gary Durrant has made it his mission to work with men, women, children and youth to ensure that we all progress along a path of unified success.
With the understanding that we all deserve the opportunity to become our best selves, Durrant is often out at community events speaking to young people, parents, community leaders, and the corporate sector – spreading the message of personal development and challenging others to be change-agents in our communities, workplaces, homes and most of all – within ourselves.
Inspiring, compelling and down-right enlightening, Gary Durrant is inviting you along his journey of being the change we want to see in our community.