Posted on April 30, 2007
Chung Lao: Pasha, how are you?
Pasha: Doing pretty well, really busy!
Chung Lao: Pick one word that describes you.
Chung Lao: Where did you grow up?
Richmond, B.C. born and raised.
Chung Lao: Most Canadian youth are into hockey. What
drew you to the sport of basketball?
Pasha: I was a huge fan of the game from a very young
age. I started playing outside my next door neighbor’s yard
and got hooked on the game right away. It is definitely the
easiest sport to practice and I have to admit it was all the
imaginary games played out on my neighbor’s yard that got me
inspired to play the game. I played full basketball games in
my head starting in Grade 4 outside that yard, announcers,
starting lineups, refs, etc. I played for both teams but it
was my favorite players and teams that always won.
people in my neighborhood thought I was crazy jumping around
and ripping my shirt off in celebration, but back than it
was about the possibilities and pure love of the sport.
Chung Lao: Along the same lines, Reebok has an ad
going where athletes state when they knew they could play.
When did you know?
Pasha: That’s a tough question, I practiced so much
during High School that I really drew my confidence from my
work ethic, I knew that if people were saying I had all this
potential AND I was willing to work the hardest that I would
be able to play at a high level. But I remember a specific
situation in High School in Grade 11 where the ref and I
were joking around about “knowing what we were doing” before
the game during Captains introductions.
It was a very
intense game and I remember going on a good run in the 3rd
quarter leading to an “and 1”. I remember being in that
‘flow’ state where you feel absolutely immersed in the
moment and the same ref I was joking with before the game
hands me the ball for the free throw and says, “apparently
you really do know what your doing,” being in the moment and
having such a great compliment at that moment really gave me
the confidence to know I could play at a high level.
Chung Lao: What college(s) did you play for?
Pasha: I started at Clemson University in South
Carolina, Graduated from SFU and finished my Masters Degree
Chung Lao: What is something you don’t like about the
sport of basketball?
Pasha: I don’t like all the politics involved in the
game. Especially at the youth levels.
Chung Lao: Growing up, did you ever feel like you were
playing for something more than basketball, perhaps for your
culture as well?
Pasha: I am extremely proud of my culture and did at
times feel as if I was playing for something more than
basketball. The support I have received from the Indian
Community both as a player and now as a Coach and Mentor has
been unbelievable. Being a visible minority offered me a
chance to hopefully inspire other young players from my
culture to break some barriers and realize the immense
opportunities available in basketball.
Chung Lao: Kobe Bryant recently scored 81pts in a
single game. He is widely considered to be arrogant by many
in the media/fans. What is your take on him? Is his
Pasha: I do think some times Kobe comes off as a little
abrasive or arrogant but I think that has more to do with
his focus and determination. Kobe Bryant is the best
basketball player and one of the best athletes on the planet
and it is because of his work ethic and borderline obsession
to be the best that allows him to take claim to that honor.
I think Kobe is at a point where he doesn’t care how he
comes across, he is on a mission and I can respect him for
his work ethic and singleness of purpose.
Pasha: Mmmmmm….any job where I felt like I wasn’t doing
a deed or experiencing a value.
Chung Lao: What player do you feel your game is most
Pasha: I’ve been told Ray Allen or Gilbert Arenas.
Chung Lao: Name someone you admire and why.
Pasha: My Dad because he is not only extremely
intelligent but he has a great heart also. He would do
anything for us. He taught me the value of Education, hard
work, sacrifice and the importance of being a leader and
helping others. He worked HARD for years as a bus driver and
than became the Union Rep where he represented the workers.
My dad taught me that you can never waste money on a book.
Chung Lao: You’ve had several highlights from your
collegiate career, such as playing for the Canadian
National Team. What in your mind, has been the greatest
moment thus far?
Pasha: Easily, starting DRIVE Basketball. DRIVE is my
heart and has provided more thrills than any playing
experience or award ever has or could.
Chung Lao: Tell us about those skills in the kitchen.
Pasha: Haha, I'm as skilled in the kitchen as Shaq is
outside the 3pt line.
Chung Lao: How long will it be before a player of
Indian descent makes it to the NBA?
Pasha: Mmmmm…Good question, hopefully not too long. I
remember someone telling me I was the 1st Indian
to play in the ACC, so barriers have been broken, hopefully
soon one of us will break through and make it to the bigs. I
think the time is
coming, more and more Indians are playing
basketball at younger ages.
DRIVE has given me the
unbelievable opportunity to work with many talented young indian players at a younger age.
I have a core group of kids
that I train and mentor on a daily basis that I believe will
all go on to GREAT things on and off the court. Your
question should be adjusted to WNBA also because we have
some great young female indian players who are making huge
strides in the game.
One player in particular who trains at
DRIVE and I also coach in High School is Harleen Sidhu who
is 6’2 and plays all five positions on the court. She is
currently being recruited by Stanford, Nebraska, Gonzaga to
name a few, she is going into Gr.12.
Chung Lao: What is something you cannot stand in a person?
Pasha: Mmmmm, Tough question, Id like to think there’s
nothing really I cant stand in a person – everyone’s got
their own story.
Chung Lao: Who is the best player in the NBA, and why?
Pasha: Mmm. Id have to say Kobe because of his ability
to do so many things on the court. His size, athleticism,
footwork, shooting range, etc. are probably the best in the
league, but what seperates Kobe is his mental approach he is
absolutely relentless in his preparation and in the way he
constantly attacks on the court. In my opinion he is what a
basketball player should be.
Chung Lao: What are your goals as far as playing
Pasha: I just finished my Masters degree in Coaching
Science/Sports Psychology this past week at UBC and just
opened a new DRIVE Gym where all DRIVE athletes and the
general public can come train and meet so that has really
taken a lot of time. I plan to build and grow DRIVE for one
more year and than pursue my professional playing career, it
has always been my goal to be more than just a basketball
player and I feel like I am in good position right now to
accomplish some goals for DRIVE – I want to be constantly be
on the grind, working hard.
Chung Lao: What prompted you to develop the Drive Foundation
Scholarship Fund as well as the Drive Basketball Camp, and
how can people support them?
Pasha: DRIVE started because I just LOVE to coach and
help young athletes. There is so much about basketball on
and off the court that I wish I knew when I was growing up
that I really wanted to start a program where I could coach
and mentor young athletes to achieve success. I started
running camps around 2003 and truly enjoyed everything about
the whole experience: the way the kids responded, how much
fun I had coaching and helping the young athletes and how it
created a sense of community and DRIVE became something
special. People can support our program by visiting
and registering for one of our many programs.
Chung Lao: Ok, the year is 2040, the place, the newly minted
Canadian Athletic Center. A couple of students are browsing
through Canadian basketball sports history, and come across
the name of one Pasha Bains. What do you hope they remember
about your legacy?
Pasha: Hopefully they will hear about my Coaching and
playing accomplishments as well as DRIVE and all the great
athletes and coaches that went through the program. Honestly
though I cant be concerned with my legacy because that is
not the reason Im working hard as a player and coach.
Chung Lao: Lastly, leave us with a parting thought.
Pasha: I just want to thank you Chris for doing this
interview. I am extremely grateful for all the support!
Lao: We appreciate you're time Pasha. Next up on
Elizabeth Kuruvilla. Keep it locked in.....