Dawson Viveiros grew up on the basketball court, practicing his game every day. Starting at the age of eight, he played in any league he could be a part of, starting from house league and into rep, through secondary school at Holy Trinity High School in Bradford, and in a few leagues while in college.
Viveiros aspired to play professional and dedicated all his time to make that a reality. He would wake up every morning at 4:30 a.m. and walk to the Bradford Community Centre from his house near Barrie Street and 8th Line, a 2-km trek one way, get in a good practice and work out, then head to school for the day. But it didn’t stop there; after school you would find Viveiros shooting hoops at the local park until the sun went down. However, an unfortunate injury halted any possibility of playing in the NBA, which forced Viveiros to re-focus his vision.
Sticking to his passion of the game, he went straight into coaching and training young athletes after graduating high school.
“I do a lot of one-on-one training to help build their skills and it’s all volunteering because I like sharing my passion of basketball,” Viveiros explains.
He covers a wide range of kids, starting from four years old, all the way to 19. He pivots his coaching strategy to cater to the experience level of the kids, as some are just learning to dribble the ball, while others are perfecting their 3-pointers.
Viveiros volunteers his time looking over 10 groups of kids, including junior boys and girls, and senior girls basketball teams at Holy Trinity High School, South Simcoe Basketball Club, U14 house league, U8 house league, and U19 rep team. Viveiros says, “It’s a lot, but I love it. It’s good fun!”
Viveiros has continued playing basketball regularly since his injury, but strictly for fun. Balancing a lot of his time spent on the court with a full-time job, he never lost his passion for the game, even though it wouldn’t lead to a professional career. Nowadays, he mainly coaches alongside his father, the man who coached him growing up.
Viveiros reflects, “It’s been nice to coach by his side and see a whole new perspective from when I was growing up.”
The coaching duo work well together; Viveiros works with the players to build their skills, while his father works on the plays and the motions.
When Viveiros was asked who his favourite basketball player is, his response was the late Kobe Bryant. It seems the sport of basketball comes full circle in a lot of cases, as one player continuously influences another.
“The reason I do it,” Viveiros concludes, “is because I want to share my passion of the game. I was once a kid who wanted to play professional, and people took the time to teach me, so I just want to pay it forward more than anything.”