When Clintton Gaspard was 13-years-old, he wrote his grandmother a letter thanking her and his grandfather for their support and assured her that she was not wasting her money by investing in his basketball skills. He made a promise to her that one day he will make her proud by competing in the NBA.
“One day I will say this on the NBA stage. It is my dream!", he declared before ending the letter.
That was two years ago, but the dream remains the same.
Gaspard, a skilled point guard at the P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy in Ontario Canada is from a soccer family. His younger sister and even his grandparents played soccer and for a while Gaspard toyed with the game too. But eventually, he chose the “way more fun” game of basketball.
“I like the style of play more for basketball, I like shooting,” he said.
Gaspard is naturally competitive, and this trait, he said, has heightened since he started playing basketball. It was this characteristic bolstered by his skills on the court that earned him a starter position on his team.
Although reserved and a man of few words, Gaspard became animated as he excitedly recalled a game where he allowed his skills to do the talking.
We were playing against a Montreal team, and it was my first time going to Montreal in the summertime, the score was 65/64 and I hit a 3 and won the game in the last couple of seconds,” he shared.
Gaspard is still pumped from that achievement last summer and believes there’s lots more in store. He is encouraged by the improvements he has noticed in his game since joining P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy.
“I have gotten more exposure, there are better teams and better coaches. I’ve seen improvements in my IQ, my ball-handling, my shooting, everything,” he said.
Ultimately, Gaspard wants to be the first person in his family to earn a scholarship through basketball to attend college and be one step closer to his dream of playing in the NBA.
“The end goal is to make it to college through scholarships so I just wanna work hard on and off the court. Making the NBA is a goal too, but I wanna get a scholarship first,” he said.