Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Rawlson King were proud to present Overbrook resident Manock Lual with the 2021 Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching.
Manock Lual is a former pro-basketball player who came to Canada as a refugee from South Sudan and grew up in Overbrook.
Coach Manock is Founder and Head Coach of Prezdential, a non-profit that is dedicated to bridging the gap faced by disadvantaged youth in Ottawa, and particularly racialized youth living in low-income communities. Mr. Lual offers free basketball and life skills programming strengthened by partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club, Ottawa Community Foundation and local community associations and resource centres.
Coach Manock’s ability to coach young athletes goes beyond the game of basketball. His individualistic style of coaching and charisma throughout training sessions applies to all ages, and practice sessions are more than about building better players but becoming better people through sport.
Coach Manock fosters an environment of acceptance and positivity that follows participants into their communities. During a year plagued by limitations for physical closeness, Coach Manock showed how his leadership translates into community development. Coach Manock and his team at Prezdential Basketball supported the youth of Ottawa through initiatives that aided their general mental health and wellbeing. Prezdential Basketball now includes financial literacy programming, cooking classes, a youth media program, an annual backpack drive, after school programming, and the Overbrook Show.
While his basketball prowess is renowned, it is his work to mentor youth, using basketball as a tool, which makes Coach Manock remarkable.