Asian Institute, Reach Alliance, Munk School

Joe’s Basketball Diaries Episode Five: Globalization and The Power of Sport

The power of sport – and who holds it – takes centre court in the latest episode of Joe’s Basketball Diaries, hosted by Joseph Wong, the University of Toronto’s vice-president, international. 

Guests include Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, who shares his insights into the role coaches and teachers play in fostering the growth of players and students both on and off the court.

“I start every season with either this mural, this pyramid or this coliseum of our thoughts, ideas and our vision for the season,” says Nurse. “One thing right at the top is being world leaders for cultural change.”

The conversation also touches on questions about leadership, women, economics and globalization in the sporting world – and the role of sports organizations, governments, athletes and fans when it comes to making a positive impact beyond stadiums and arenas.

“It’s incredibly unfair to ask athletes to solve problems that governments aren’t themselves prepared to solve or are unable to,” says David Shoemaker, chief executive officer and secretary general of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

“I get that, but athletes have extraordinary power as well,” Wong says, while Fitriya Mohamed, the co-founder of the Muslim Women’s Summer Basketball League, notes that many athletes are aware of their power, but wary of getting too involved. “Once they tweet out something, they have to literally be the expert in that thing – so, in every press conference [they get asked about it],” she says.

This episode features:

  • Vivek Jacob, reporter at 
  • Fitriya Mohamed, co-founder of the Muslim Women’s Summer Basketball League  
  • Nick Nurse, Raptors head coach and founder of the Nick Nurse Foundation
  • Ansh Sanyal, senior director of brand and marketing, Canadian Elite Basketball League 
  • David Shoemaker, chief executive officer and secretary general, Canadian Olympic Committee