By John Elambo
For Tiya Misir, family atmosphere she experienced during her time with the Scarborough Basketball Association is something she looks back on fondly.
“The coaches, as well as players, had team celebrations at their houses which allowed for closer relationships,” said Misir, who played two seasons of NCAA Division 1 basketball at Long Island University before coming coming home to attend Ryerson University. “These relationships are some of my best friends today. We’ve also had a lot of team bonding activities which were quite fun.”
Misir appreciates all the coaches in the SBA, but the one who stands out for her is Paul Weekes. His passion and dedication for his girls and the game were evident during the practices and games, Misir said.
“He provided me with a fair chance to help the team succeed,” she said.
“I felt like I connected with Coach Weekes because of my hungry mentality to be better than my opponent. He was also very supportive in helping me achieve my goal of becoming a Division 1 basketball player.”
During her time with the SBA, her parents were also involved. Her father did a lot of filming for the team, both of her parents helped drive players and also helped participate when needed during practices.
“It was great to have them around helping out,” Misir said.
Throughout the years of playing in the SBA, all of the teams Misir played on were full of talent.
“However, my fondest memory of SBA is playing with the group of girls for Paul Weekes’ JUEL team. The girls competed hard during practice, which made the games come to us more naturally,” she said.
Playing NCAA basketball is what Misir is most proud of in terms of her basketball accomplishments.
“I can 100 percent say that I have never worked harder to achieve something in my life,” she said. “I wanted this more than anything and was willing to do whatever it took, no matter how many friendships I gave up, how many social events I missed. This was a big goal for me with basketball.”
“My experience at Long Island University had its ups and downs. I made some of my closest friends there including one of my best friends now. I got to spend more time with my family there. I have always dreamt of living in New York City. I love the city and culture and have aspirations to move back when I am finished school.”
The reason she returned home was due to a coaching change and the COVID-19 pandemic. She said she is excited to start a new chapter of her basketball career playing for the Rams.
“I’ve always admired Coach Carly Clarke’s (Ryerson Rams head coach) passion and attention to detail,” said Misir, whose earliest memory of basketball is playing on the school playground in Grade Four.
“I know most of the players on the Ryerson team and thought it would be a great fit and opportunity to play in front of my family and friends.”
What she loves about basketball is beating her opponent.
“I don’t think I can say this in simpler terms, but I just love the feeling of seeing the ball go through the basket and winning with my teammates. Adding on, I enjoy being on a team and winning together,” said Misir, who added she would never trade basketball for anything else.
“Basketball has allowed me to travel to new places and create exciting memories that I will never forget,” she said. “It has taught me many life lessons and developed my character overall,” she said.
Even though basketball is everything to her, she doesn’t have any aspirations of going pro.
“I really would like to travel when I am finished school, have a career that I enjoy. I also enjoy playing music,” she said.