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Skinny C's hoop dreams

In 1891 at a YMCA Training School in Springfield, Mass., a Canadian athletic instructor invented a simple game involving a ball tossed into a peach basket. It would take nearly a century for basketball to gain worldwide prominence and develop its own culture, fashion and vibe. Along the way, Canadians have played a huge role in popularizing the sport, on the street, in gyms and in the professional ranks.

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Collin Charles (a.k.a. Skinny C) is one of just three Canadians invited to a 1995 high school basketball camp in New Jersey. He has his hopes set on going to a major U.S. university, to fine tune his skills before perhaps getting a shot at the NBA. Charles wants to make money to help his grandmother, who raised him in an east Toronto apartment. Jamaal Magloire, his teammate on the Eastern Commerce team, is going along with him to the camp. In this TV clip from CBC Evening News, the pair meet up with notable basketball names such as Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski and a certain high school prospect named Kobe Bryant, who admits he's never seen a Canadian kid play b-ball.
• Though Collin Charles never made it to the NBA, he did spend four years in the U.S. playing Division 1 basketball. He attended St. John's University in Queens, N.Y. from 1996-99 and helped the Red Storm reach two NCAA (March Madness) tournaments, including a final eight appearance in 1999.

• Charles finished his NCAA career at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., from 1999-2001. He earned a degree in mass communication.

• In the mid-1990s, Charles led his Eastern Commerce high school team to two OFSSA (Ontario Federation of Schools Athletic Associations) championships.

• As of 2009, Charles was working for the Toronto District School Board as an educational assistant.

• Charles runs a basketball school called Collin Charles Basketball. On its website, "Train Like A Pro," it states that the goal of the school is "to provide quality basketball instruction at an affordable cost to youth of all ages and abilities."

• Jamaal Magloire did make it to the NBA. In nine seasons (as of 2009) he has played for six different teams: Charlotte/New Orleans, Milwaukee, Portland, New Jersey, Dallas and Miami. Magloire has averaged eight points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

• Kobe Bryant is widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time. As of 2009, he has been a four-time champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, an NBA most valuable player (2008), and an 11-time NBA all-star. In 948 career games, he has averaged 25.1 points, 4.6 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Evening News
Broadcast Date: Sept. 22, 1995
Guests: Kobe Bryant, Collin Charles, Tony Cheals, Larry Harris, Mike Krzyzewski, Jamaal Magloire, Sonny Vaccaro
Reporter: Debbie Lightle Quan
Duration: 11:10

Last updated: October 8, 2013

Page consulted on November 6, 2014

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