Ridgebacks’ Pathmanathan gets two new coaching gigs

Ridgebacks' head coach Greg Francis (left) and assistant coach Deluxshan Pathmanathan go over players before facing the Laurentian Voyageurs on Feb 8. Photo credit: Shaun McLeod

Deluxshan Pathmanathan remembers being a teen and desperately wanting to be part of the under-15 (U15) Ontario boys’ team.

He never was a member of that team – until now – he’ll be taking over as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator for the U15 Ontario boys’ team this summer.

“It’s surreal to be coaching the next generation of talented players,” says Pathmanathan, who worked as an assistant coach with Ontario Tech this past season and spent three seasons in a similar role with the Durham Lords prior to that.

The Ontario U15 team will be competing in the national championship this August at Queen’s University in Kingston and hopes to win a gold medal after a heartbreaking 88-78 loss to Quebec in the finals last year.

“We have a very good chance of winning the gold this year. I believe we will have some talented players this year which will help with bringing the gold back to Ontario,” said Pathmanathan.

This is a busy summer of coaching for the Ajax resident.

He’ll also be coaching UPlay Canada, an Amateur Athletic Union team which will be competing on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball circuit, the toughest summer circuit in North America. In the past, UPlay has been home to several young Canadian talents such as RJ Barrett and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who now play in the NBA.

“The entire team is made of NCAA Division I potential kids, a lot of them will end up playing in the NBA or over in Europe,” said Pathmanathan.

For the first time since 2016, Pathmanathan wore different schools’ colours as he joined the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks men’s basketball team as an assistant coach in its inaugural year.

“My first year at Ontario Tech was great, I gained a lot of experience in building a program from the ground up,” said Pathmanathan. “It was an opportunity of a lifetime and I’m thankful for Greg Francis and all the administrators at the school for giving me this opportunity.”

Pathmanathan also enjoyed his time at Durham College.

“I loved my time at Durham,” said Pathmanathan. “I worked with a great group of student-athletes and coaches.”

He’ll be back at Ontario Tech next year as they look to continue to build the program after it finished 1-21 but showed flashes of promise throughout the year from players such as Graddy Kanku, who was recently named to the Ontario University Athletics all-rookie team and AJ Cummings.

“I believe with the core group of players that we have we will only get better. Our players are getting better every day. As our players get older and gain experience, we will definitely win more games next year as we develop our young core on and off the court,” said Pathmanathan.

Pathmanathan, 30, is currently working his way up the coaching ladder in Ontario and paying his dues as a young coach but says his end goal is to become the head coach of an Ontario Colleges Athletic Association or USports level basketball team.