This super tall 12-year-old is helping propel his Montreal basketball team to glory
Olivier is 6'11" and hard to miss standing next to a dozen other 12-year-olds
Olivier Rioux is not so different from any other athletic, ambitious 12-year-old who dreams of one day making it to the NBA. But his chances might be a little better than the average kid. Olivier stands six foot 11 inches.
The boy lives with his family in Anjou, a neighbourhood in Montreal's East End.
In the last three years, he's helped propel the Chénier School basketball team to the top in terms of the number of medals won in competitions between elementary schools under the Pointe de l'île School Board.
"It's hard work ... all the time he puts into it," said the boy's father, Jean-François Rioux. "It's good for him — basketball helps him spend his energy."
Even competing against teams from different school boards, Chénier triumphs. The school, overwhelmed by the success, has stopped counting its awards.
All the glory doesn't go to Olivier alone. Along with his team, his 15-year-old brother Émile deserves some credit as well.
Émile Rioux, who stands six foot nine inches, played on the basketball team at Chénier when it was created.
The Rioux family spends their weekends courtside, travelling for games and ferrying the two boys to and from practices.
"I want to help him fulfill his passions as much as possible. Right now it's basketball," the boy's father said.
Olivier is hard to miss standing next to a dozen other 12-year-olds, and coaches have certainly taken notice.
He's now in his last year at the Chénier School, and thinking about enrolling in a high school with a pre-professional sport program.
Like many young athletes, the dream is to one day sign a lucrative contract with the NBA.
Rioux, measures six feet eight inches, and has been surpassed by both his sons in terms of height.
With files from Radio-Canada International's Alice Chantal Tchandem Kamgang