PRESS RELEASE: Growth Mindset – From the Playground to the NBA…

PRESS RELEASE: Growth Mindset – From the Playground to the NBA…

An interactive, community event connecting children, youth and their families with emerging basketball stars to talk about teamwork, building a growth mindset, life lessons, resilience and lifelong learning.

Mississauga, Ontario CANADA: Let’s Get Together! in partnership with Raptors 905, Mississauga Sports Council and Ontario Basketball Association is hosting a one-of-a-kind, interactive community event on March 10th, 2018 at the Hershey Centre and SportZone in Mississauga.


Raptors 905 players, Aaron BestKaza Kajami-Keane, Shevon Thompson and Kennedy Meeks sit down to share their personal stories with families from across the GTA, to promote a growth mindset – a strategy that can be the key to every child’s, every parent’s success.


Let’s Get Together’s! Executive Director, Alison Canning, says “We see the Raptors 905 players learning path parallel to today’s students.  They need to learn how to work under pressure, deal with transitions, thrive as a team, accept feedback, overcome challenges/barriers and cope with failures”. She goes on to say, “Research shows growth mindset can have both a short-term and long-term positive impact on a child’s life by helping them to believe skills and abilities can be developed and are not just limited to those who are naturally skilled. These players have developed a mindset that have helped them achieve their goals so we need to learn how they did it”.

The Growth Mindset talk is the second of two we’ve hosted with the Raptors 905. It follows up on the Parent Involvement Matters talk that took place on January 27, 2018, where Aaron Best and Kaza Kajami-Keane’s families shared their stories of how they raised and supported Aaron and Kaza. Check out our event video and the recording of the Parent Involvement Talk.

Alison Canning in closing says “This event is an opportunity for families to learn together. Our hope is that children and youth come away inspired and empowered with an actionable plan and that parents feel more equipped to support and foster growth mindset in their family.”

“Every basketball family faces different obstacles on their path of development and we look forward to hearing the stories and lessons shared at Growth Mindset,” said Jason Jansson, Executive Director of Ontario Basketball. “Hearing from the Raptors 905 players, some of them former OBA athletes, will be fun and inspirational.”


On Saturday, March 10th, starting at 1 pm, come watch the Raptors 905 take on the Canton Charge, and join the players after the game for our interactive discussion: Growth Mindset –  a Key to Your Child’s SuccessParents are encouraged to attend with their child(ren).

Game will be held at Hershey Centre, 5500 Rose Cherry Place, Mississauga ON L4Z 4B6

REGISTER and learn more at

Raptors 905 are the NBA G League defending champions and the lone Canadian team in the league. Founded in 2015, the team joined the league for the 2015-16 season, playing out of Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

Let’s Get Together! is a Not-for-Profit organization that creates opportunities for parents, youth and communities to access learning resources that provide educational assistance and supports student well-being.

Raptors 905 and Let’s Get Together! partner to support parents, make connections and build a community

Raptors 905 and Let’s Get Together! partner to support parents, make connections and build a community

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” – Dr. Brene Brown

From left to right: Hugh and Karen Keane, Donna Best, Sierra Shinn-Best and Ryan Reid, share their personal stories of how they support Raptors 905 players, Kaza Keane and Aaron Best. 

Last Saturday morning Let’s Get Together! in partnership with the Raptors 905 team hosted a parent involvement panel discussion. The Raptors 905 is the G-League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors. Families of two players, Kaza Keane and Aaron Best, sat on the panel sharing their journey of raising young professional athletes and offering advice to parents of inspiring athletes.

Services for parent support is a need in our community that has been identified by Alison Canning and her team from Let’s Get Together! Parents face ongoing pressures that can be a difficult path to navigate. Although there are a multitude of parenting blogs and magazines, creating human connections and finding ways to relate to one another allows parents to know they are not alone in their experience.

Today’s modern Toronto family looks much different than it did fifty years ago. We are seeing an increase in mixed-race, same-sex, blended, and even single parent families. According to a 2011 study, single parents head one in every five families. As well it was found that in 2016 almost a quarter are lone-parent households (88.5% of these are a female alone family) (Statistics Canada, 2016). Many parents have expressed that they struggle to connect with their family due to increased demands and expectations. As the work force modernizes with both parents working, there is less time to connect with their children. Parents also tend to have less family support as they no longer live within 5km of their extended family to share the responsibilities of raising a child. This is shown in the most recent census where only 3.7% of households in Toronto are a multi-generational household. (Statistics Canada, 2016)

Children are more stressed and are burning out faster than ever due to high expectations from school and extracurricular activities. This can intensify from distractions like video games, television, and social media. Children and parents are both experiencing high levels of stress that can take away from spending time with another thus leading to relationships that lack trust and understanding.

This disconnect between families is stressful and leads to difficult emotions. Youth have higher rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts than in prior generations. However, we do know that sports and play are a natural and healthy tool to combat many of these emotions. Playing through sports allows for human connection, it teaches youth social and problem-solving skills and encourages a more active lifestyle. Although it does take time out of an already busy schedule our parents know how important it is in their child’s development. As stated by UNICEF:

“Throughout the life of a child, sport and play can be valuable tools to promote health and prevent disease, both through sport itself, and through the participatory act of watching others play, with the associated communication, education and social interaction that games can produce.” (UNICEF, 2014)

Together with the Raptors 905 team and the parents of the players, a panel was created to give new parents support in the navigation of raising their young athletes. The intention of the panel was to enable parents to build connections with another to know they are not alone in their experiences. Throughout the conversation key messages included ‘Just show up’, ‘Build your tribe’, ‘Don’t get caught up in the bright light’ and ‘Family is everything’. Overall the common theme was the importance of family connection or building community with those around you. In addition, it was expressed how valuable it is to be present with your child both on and off the court to build a healthy relationship. The Raptors 905 parents shared and suggested some helpful routines that can propel a parents’ good intentions into practice. These suggestions included: home cooked meals, hosting study groups, holding therapy breakfasts and opening a family group chat.

Watching the panel discussion, the audience nodded their heads, resonating with the experiences that the Raptors 905 parents shared. There were emotional conversations of how to raise children as a single parent and the importance of building community beyond family relations. This discussion provided an incredible opportunity to build human connection for parents across the GTA and left many filled with gratitude and inspiration.

Moving forward, Let’s Get Together! will be partnering once again with the Raptors 905 team on March 10th for an event discussing a growth mindset. This presentation will provide powerful and inspirational messages from Raptors 905 players Aaron Best, Kaza Keane, Shevon Thompson and Kennedy Meeks on how they have developed resiliency and focus.

Visit our website at for more information.
We hope to see your family there!


Photos/videos courtesy of Laura MakEdge Imaging, our volunteers and guests.

Kianna Dewart, B.A, MSc. International Development
Coordinator and Youth Ambassador with Let’s Get Together!

Feel free to connect if you have any questions!