Victor Mansure

A story that is worth telling: A Brazilian steps out of the basketball courts as a player, to fulfill his dream to be in the NBA.

By Danielle Marino

After taking over as coach of the Canadian Basketball Team for deaf children, former professional Brazilian player,  Victor Mansure, made a great childhood dream turn into reality:  joining  the NBA. The 28 year old native from Rio de Janeiro, is now contracted by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment which is  the company responsible for the Toronto Raptors, also the team Leandro Barbosa. is wing-guard for. Victor is coordinating the development of basketball clinics, nursery schools and courses for the community and is the person responsible for public relations relating to support for the training of professional players.

Four years ago, Mansure ran basketball teams for boys with hearing impairments, and since last year works with the deaf adult team in Canada, which placed  13th in the World Cup in Italy in September 2011 and awaits the new international confrontation in Brazil , the Pan American Games to be held in June this year in Sao Paulo.

How did you achieve this dream of reaching the NBA, the league’s best-known North American basketball?
Victor – Through the move from Brazil to Canada with my family, and the fact of having a professional team in the NBA in the same country where I lived, I flourished and had even greater incentive for pursuing this dream. It was after I took the Canadian basketball team lead with my deaf athletes, came my first contact with the leaders of the Raptors. When I coached the team from the region of Quebec three years ago, I started a project for their financial help, in which I worked with large companies to raise funds and sponsorship, not only for training, but for materials, uniforms, travel, and expenses in general. Then the opportunity with Maple Leaf emerged.

Describe the journey taken to achieve a position of trust within a large company?
Victor – This quest became even stronger when I decided to leave the courts as an athlete to become a coach. I can say that in my career in Canada things have happened very fast. Since I moved to Montreal six years ago, and stopped playing basketball because of three knee surgeries, I majored in Physical Education from McGill University, the same place where the inventor of basketball James Naismith graduated.  I started working with deaf children, I taught in community centers, and schools. I was also invited to become the coach in Canada, by a sports company considered to be one of the largest in North America. Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment manages three major professional teams in, based in Toronto: Toronto FC (Football) Toronto Maple Leafs (Hockey) and the Toronto Raptors (basketball).

What are you doing exactly as the development coordinator of the Toronto Raptors basketball?
Victor – As the Basketball Development Coordinator, I am responsible for promoting the sport in schools, community centers and clubs for people of all ages, creating basketball clinics, academies, camps, courses for judges, coaches and more.

Did the strike early this NBA season 2011/2012 hurt you somehow?
Victor – The strike ended the season last December. The strike does not hurt me directly. But a company of this size needs to operate at full strength always, to retain the general public’s interest in the games. The presence of players is important for promoting events, and everything that revolves around it. The public’s demand for the League is increasing.

Did you already know Brazilian player-wing guard Leandro Barbosa, 29, who has been in the NBA for more than 8 years?
Victor – Yes, I did, and we have some mutual friends.  Working on the same team as Leandro is a great source of pride. I have always followed his work in games, and to experience this closeness is very good. He (Leandro) is a strong icon of Brazilian basketball.

What do you expect now? What are the next challenges?
Victor – I still hope to contribute much to society, with young people and keep growing and doing a good job too, with the hearing impaired athletes. Always when there is some opportunity to invite people to participate in any event, never forget the deaf children who are part of my story. They still need lots of help, not only in Canada, but in Brazil as well. The hearing impaired is an athlete like any other, and always needs support. My next challenge is to complete major projects,  to promote my work with the team in the NBA and maybe keep dreaming with even bigger expectations.

Would you like to send a message to the magazine’s readers and to those who are still in search of a dream?
Victor – Keep fighting to pursue your dreams. We all have an incredible inner strength and if it is well directed, it can carry us beyond the limits that we think possible to achieve in life. Always appreciate your home, your family, friends and life as well.   Deep down I believe that material things are secondary and what is truly significant is the goodness that we leave behind …

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