Mano Watsa was the first Canadian athlete to ever attend PGC. An example of the impact PGC Founder Dick DeVenzio had on so many players, Mano returned from his PGC experience and his game as an undersized point guard transformed.
Mano attended the University of Waterloo, where he was a 4-time OUA Conference All-Star, 2-time All-Canadian, and Academic All-Canadian. In 1999, Mano was named the University of Waterloo Athlete of the Year, the National TSN Award recipient for combining excellence in athletics, academics, and community involvement, and was inducted into the University of Waterloo Athletics Hall of Fame.
Mano began his journey as a camp director at an early age, starting his first basketball camp in his parents’ backyard at the age of 15. By the time he finished high school, over 150 kids were attending his backyard camps each summer. By his last year in of university, nearly 400 kids were attending the camps.
Upon graduation, Mano started his highly-acclaimed high school assembly presentation, “Power To Choose.” Mano used his Harlem Globetrotter-type presentation as a platform to inspire over 250,000 students across North America.
Since 2007, when Mano took on leadership of PGC, the camps have grown from 1,000 players each summer to 12,000 players and 2,000 coaches annually. Over the past 10 years, 85,000 players and 15,000 coaches have been impacted by PGC.
Mano lives in Waterloo, Ontario with his family, where he coaches his son’s high school varsity team, chairs the elders board at his church, and provides leadership to PGC.
An Inside Look at Mano Teaching
What They’re Saying About Mano
“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)