Mano Watsa was the first Canadian athlete to ever attend Point Guard College. A terrific example of the impact that Dick DeVenzio had on so many players, Mano returned home to Canada from his PGC experience and saw his game transformed. He was subsequently selected as a two-time All-Canadian and earned Academic All-Canadian honors at the University of Waterloo. Mano capped off his university career with his selection as the recipient of The Sports Network (TSN—Canada’s equivalent of ESPN) Award in 1998 for combining excellence in athletics, academics, and community involvement.
After graduation, Mano went on to play with Athletes In Action, competing against top Division I teams in the United States and touring throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Mano then returned to Canada and started his highly acclaimed high school assembly presentation, “Power To Choose.” A gifted motivational speaker, Mano has used his basketball-based presentation as a platform to address over 250,000 students across North America.
Mano’s involvement with teaching the game began at the age of 15, when he started his own basketball camp in his parents’ backyard. Within a few years, Mano’s camps were attracting more than 100 participants per week, and he began to hold overnight camps for players across the country. In 2001, after a seven-year friendship with PGC founder Dick DeVenzio, Mano created his own program (the ‘Point Guard Academy’) as a tribute to Dick. Mano and Dena Evans joined forces in 2007, and merged the two programs together. Mano presently serves as President of PGC Basketball.
An Inside Look of Mano Teaching
What They’re Saying About Mano Watsa
“Mano’s energy is boundless and uplifting. His focus on what’s important to know is laser-like and his teaching is from his heart because of his great passion for the game and his passion to assist players and coaches to become as good as they want to be. Mano—you always bring you “A” game to each course and you were “on” again this week. I can never get enough of the valuable “nuggets” of knowledge that I learn each time that I attend these courses. It’s absolutely the best resource for me as a coach. The energy, the focus, and the teachings are what makes PGC special, unique, and unequaled when it comes to making players and coaches more complete. As long as there are PGC courses to attend, I’ll be there as an observing coach! Thank you again.
— Dan Slain, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
“Mano, what you have taught me has completely, 100% transformed my game. I am now much more confident and I play with a lot more intensity. I pulled out my notes today and went over everything that I learned from you. I just wanted to say thank you for your input in my life and in my game.”
— Dean Beard, Wall, Texas
“Mano—you are the real deal, you don’t just talk the talk. You have a gift. Your lectures on life lessons were amazing. Thank you for all that you gave to me and my kids this week.”
— Coach Pam White, Rhinebeck, New York
“I teach 7th grade social studies and we cover India and Ghandi. I explain to my students that even if you didn’t know Ghandi or who he was, if he walked into the room each student would know he was special by the way he communicated with others, by the way he carried himself, and by the way he interacted with others. Mano, you have that same quality. You are an impressive man. You do an outstanding job teach and coaching, but mostly by your demeanor. Thank you for being a part of my daughter’s life. I’m sure she will never forget it.
— Coach Mike Cross, Kingsford, Michigan
“I was especially impressed with Mano Watsa and his passion. The way that he connects with the players is incredible. I have seen and experienced many basketball camps. This is by far the best that I’ve ever seen.”
— Coach Dave Beckman, Shelby Michigan
“I have been to tons of camps all across North America and my week with you was the best by far! I will remember this experience for the rest of my playing career and the rest of my life.”
— Jesse Tipping, Brock University
“Coach Mano, what you taught me this week is priceless. You have taught me so much, as a coach and as a person. The athletes gained so much trust in you because you are powerful, but in a way I have never seen in my life. You have changed me as a player and as a person.”
— Brad Daitch, Frederick, Maryland
“Mano—I wanted to thank you for everything that you did during my time at PGC. It amazes me how much you seem to care about others and their well-being. It’s hard for me to express the level of respect that I have for you. Thanks, Mano, you have really made a difference in my life.”
— Shiloh Tuma, Bowling Green, Ohio
“Mano — my week with you was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. Your love of the game and your desire to share your knowledge with each of us had such a positive impact on me as an athlete and as an individual. Thank you for an unforgettable week!”
— Nicole Tisdale, Aylmer, Ontario (Canada)