A successful basketball coach

Deluxshan Pathmanathan, lead assistant coach of DC Lords men’s basketball team, has accomplished a lot.

In 2014, Pathmanathan volunteered to be a coach of the under 13 team of the Markham Unionville Minor Basketball Association and lead the team to win the Ontario Basketball championship gold medal. Last summer, he was a part of the Ontario Summer Games, coaching the Kawartha Region basketball team. In October, he coached Sri Lanka in the Youth Olympic Games.

Deluxshan Pathmanathan discovered the game of basketball in Grade 1 in the house league at his public school but his first love wasn’t basketball. He grew up playing soccer. In grade eight, he tried out for the basketball team but got cut and that was when he started focusing on the game.

He decided to go to his neighborhood basketball court in Flemingdon Park in North York to learn how to play the game of basketball and get better. He played about six hours a day.

He went on to make the basketball team from grade 9 to 12.

His parents always wanted him and his brother to put education as their priority.

“My parents really wanted my brother and I to focus on our education,” says Pathmanathan. “I used to have to lie and say I was going to throw the garbage out only to sneak out of the house to go the local community court.”

Grade 11 was when his parents decided to support him for his love of basketball.

Based on how he did in high school, he got invited to the USA Junior Nationals tournament when he was in grade 11. It was an opportunity to play in front of NCAA coaches, he says.

Pathmanathan says his parents had to drive him to some tournaments while he was in high school.

“The longest drive we ever took was to Michigan when he was invited to play in the USA Junior National tournament in front of NCAA coaches at the University of Western Michigan,” says Nathan, Pathmanathan’s father.

In 2007, he played for his country, Sri Lanka, at the Asian Summer Games when he was entering his first year of university.

He went on to graduate from York University in Psychology and Kinesiology.

Although he says playing basketball was good for him, Pathmanathan thought he could do more. That was coaching: teaching the game to others.

“When I was in the 11th grade, I helped to coach the senior girls basketball team and the junior boys basketball team at my high school,” says Pathmanathan. “And that is when I fell in love with coaching.”

He has coached about 12 years now at all levels, he says.

In January 2016, he was hired as the lead assistant coach for the DC men’s basketball team. Even outside the game, he and the head coach Desmond Rowley are always focusing on the game of basketball.

“We are constantly on the phone talking of ways we can make our team better and bring in new players. We spend a lot of time preparing together,” says Pathmanathan.

Pathmanathan got hired to coach the Sri Lanka under 18 team at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in October of 2018. He enjoyed his experience.

“This was an honour for our entire family,” says his mother, Viyaja.

“Not a lot of coaches get to coach on the international level so I’m very grateful for the experiences and memories I gained from it,” says Pathmanathan.

“It makes us very proud to see the success he has had at a young age. As parents we are most proud because he is always trying to learn different ways to coach every day,” says Nathan.

Brandon Halliburton, starting point guard of the Lords, explains his reaction of Pathmanathan going to the Youth Olympic Games.

“When I heard he was coaching in the Youth Olympic Games, I was really proud for him, I know he takes his coaching serious and it was great to see that he was able to coach on a higher level,” says Halliburton.

Halliburton says that Pathmanathan has a great impact on the team.

“He’s a player’s coach, so a lot of guys can relate to him and approach him more on a personal level.”

Halliburton explains he and Pathmanathan have a healthy relationship outside the game.

“Besides coaching, he’s a real cool person to just talk to about life and personal things,” says Halliburton.

Halliburton hopes Pathmanathan can keep getting different opportunities so that he can build his resume and keep growing as a coach.

“Keep learning everyday so your teams can get better. The more you learn, the more they learn. Keep pushing yourself and your team. Don’t ever be happy being second,” says Nathan.

Pathmanathan believes that he could be a head coach in the OCAA one day, knowing that his successful coaching experiences could land him a spot as head coach but for the time being he is happy where he’s at.