Presented on November 25, 2021
When Carl English was five years old, he was faced with an unimaginable tragedy. The loss of his parents in a fire would change his life as he knew it. But he found an outlet, a comfort zone, a way out of the emotional turmoil he experienced: basketball. He played, hours upon hours, on the side of the highway, in rain, wind, and even snow. As time passed, basketball grew into a passion, and then a dream. Where would it take him? How big could he dream? And what would he need to make this dream a reality? Hard work, discipline, practice, determination, and most important, self-belief. Carl will share his inspirational true story of persevering through hard work and dedication to make a dream become reality. In Carl’s case, he always dreamed of playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Although he went undrafted through all his years playing, he enjoyed the career of a lifetime playing the sport he loves. The basketball pro from small-town Newfoundland travelled overseas and crushed the European basketball circuit. He became a superstar in his own right, by playing in Europe and for the Canadian national team and returned to his home province to a hero’s welcome. When Carl English returned to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2017, he said part of the move was to try to grow the sport of basketball. Through Carl’s hard work and dedication, CE23 Academy opened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering programs for boys and girls under 18. The goal is to teach the essential skills and a strong work ethic and ultimately instill a true love for the game. By providing a fun, positive and yet challenging environment, the aim is to maximize the opportunities for athletes to thrive and succeed.