Twenty years ago, Mano Watsa took on the challenge of creating a summer job for himself. It was 1991 and at the age of 15 he decided to start his very own youth basketball camp in his parents' backyard. With 8 campers in attendance the first week, playing on one basketball hoop, the Watsa Basketball Camp had officially begun.
Through the support of his basketball coaches (see the camp Hall of Fame) and the local community, the camps blossomed. By the time Mano graduated high school, nearly 200 local youth were attending four weeks of basketball training offered each summer in his backyard.
While attending the University of Waterloo, the basketball camps continued to expand and Mano began to accept requests to speak at schools and summer camps. As his university career wrapped up, Mano officially launched More Than Hoops, the company in which the basketball camps and all his future basketball training endeavors would fall under.
Looking for a way to use basketball as a platform to further inspire students, Mano created Power To Choose. With the goal of combining basketball, entertainment and interaction with inspirational messages, Mano brought together a team of athletes and conducted their first assembly on January 21, 2000. The program was an instant success and before the school year had finished, the team had performed for 25 local schools. Power To Choose is a highly sought-after motivational program that has performed at over 400 schools and has inspired over 250,000 students across the country over the past 10 years.