Non-profit organization utilizes basketball for its global charitable initiatives

A Baller's Cause uses the love of basketball in Filipino culture to connect with communities domestically, as well as internationally. Photo courtesy of A Baller's Cause Instagram page.
A Baller's Cause uses the love of basketball in Filipino culture to connect with communities domestically, as well as internationally. Photo courtesy of A Baller's Cause Instagram page.
Daniel Centeno - CJRU - TorontoON | 30-08-2021

Since 2019, a Baller’s Cause has utilized its love of basketball to create initiatives helping Filipino communities domestically, as well as internationally.

The non-profit organization’s base is in the Bathurst and Wilson area, known as Little Manila for its large Filipino population. The area has been central towards Filipino migrants arriving in Toronto since the 1980s.

For its international charitable efforts, the organization formed a partnership with the community Roman Catholic parish,  Our Lady of Assumption, and its priest Father Ben Ebcas. With Father Ebcas' help, a Baller's Cause has been able to provide financial and clothing donations for the Home of God's Mercy and Compassion orphanage in the Philippines.

Domestically, basketball has been a medium towards several initiatives, including a basketball tournament before COVID-19 lockdowns, and a Zapatos initiative geared towards collecting shoe donations. Zapatos is the Filipino Tagalog word for shoes. According to two founding members of the organization, Dominic Balasta and Patrick Sinclair, the love of the sport was like "a universal language for Filipinos," and the organization says it helped foster connections with communities and the youth.

A man with a blue shirt beside a box with shoes outside.

Patrick Sinclair is one of the founding members of A Baller's Cause. Photo courtesy of A Baller's Cause website.

Despite the absence of in-person events, the organization gained significant support from its network through social media – each initiative was met with enthusiasm and contributions.

Among their supporters and partners is Throne Barbershop – a fixture in Toronto’s barber scene and a well-known community hub for second-generation Filipinos. Throne barber Brian Duran is also a team member of A Baller’s Cause.

The organization's most recent event was a basketball clinic hosted for kids living in the Bathurst and Wilson area. The event was organized to give kids who normally would not be afforded the chance to attend summer basketball camps an equal opportunity. The organization sold T-Shirts as part of its fundraiser for the clinic. Loosened COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor gatherings allowed the event to take place, with each coach and instructor either fully or partially vaccinated.

For the future, a Baller's Cause is hoping to host more in-person events when permitted, grow its team to reach more communities in need, as well as fully register as a non-profit organization with the Canadian government.

Listen to the full interview here: