Jordan Tchuente takes inspiration from both the struggles and triumphs of Black trailblazers of the past.
“Reflecting on Black history gives me a better understanding of what had to be done for me to have the opportunities I have now,” said the third-year Brock Kinesiology student. “Because of them, I can learn from the people who paved the path before me. It gives me the courage, confidence and knowledge to do what I dream and envision doing because of the sacrifices that were made.”
Tchuente, a forward on the Badgers men’s basketball team, said February is an opportunity to grasp the importance of Black History Month and African Heritage Month.
“It’s about the story of trailblazers who played a role for minorities to have a bigger voice in society,” he said. “We can celebrate in meaningful ways by simply educating ourselves on the topic and the key people who played a role.
Tchuente also encouraged people to show support to Black-owned businesses, in February and beyond.
Tchuente attributes his development on and off the court to Brock men’s basketball head coach Willy Manigat and the team’s coaching staff.
“What brought me to Brock is the opportunity to grow as a student, athlete and as a person through the mentorship and education that coach Willy Manigat and his staff provide,” he said. “My time here can be summarized in one word: growth.”
Last season, Tchuente helped the Badgers win their first Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Men’s Basketball Championship in 30 years. He was then invited to training camp by the Niagara River Lions of the Canadian Elite Basketball League and remained with the team through the regular season.
The 6-foot-6 forward from Kanata, Ont., is a key starter who averages almost 30 minutes a game with the Badgers this season. He currently leads Brock in rebounds (8.4) per game and is fourth in the OUA with 61 total offensive rebounds.
“What stands out about Jordan is that he’s a smart individual on and off the floor,” Manigat said, “which makes it enjoyable to coach him because he’s always thinking.”
“We encourage Jordan to take pride in his intelligence, character and toughness,” he said. “This is only his second year with us. We still have him for another two years. We think he can reach great heights.”
Tchuente is looking forward to his remaining years as a student-athlete at Brock.
“I continue to learn from the community around me to grow, break old habits and build new ones,” he said. “Having a group of high-character young adults around me as teammates that I can learn from, share experiences with and ultimately build a long-lasting brotherhood with, is nothing but a blessing. I am forever grateful for the opportunity given to me.”