In an interview with Sports Ottawa, Carleton University Ravens Basketball star and BGCO alumnus Justin Shaver explained how the BGCO has impacted his sports and personal life.
Question: What role did the Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa have on you getting involved in sports?
Answer: It was huge, not even just the sport. I think the Boys and Girls Club was the one thing that kind of changed my life in terms of direction. Who knows where I’d be if I didn’t go there, with the life skills and structure that they develop. The sport was kind of like an extra for me and they made me fall in love with it, basically. Mainly the Boys and Girls Club was about changing your life and knowing what’s right and what’s wrong.
Question: You say the Boys & Girls Club was more of a life tool. What was going on at that time?
Answer: I wasn’t very structured, parentally. My parents were there but there wasn’t a lot of boundaries, so at 10, 11, 12 years old, I could run around and do whatever I wanted until 10 o’clock at night, and that’s something that kids shouldn’t be able to do. My parents did their best but that’s where the Boys & Girls Club and [Carleton University coach] Dave Smart came in to try and keep me on path. The Club was huge because I could go there and do homework and have any resource I needed.
Highlights of the SSLL: