ETOBICOKE – Chris Cheng, former head coach of Humber’s extramural men’s basketball team, and former varsity coach, is continuing to influence students and athletes across the country.
Cheng started as a student in the Early Childhood Education program at Humber in 2003 and became a student employee in the Athletics Department soon after. In 2005, with the support of Athletic Director, Doug Fox, and Varsity Basketball Coach, Darrell Glenn, Cheng started the Junior Varsity Basketball Program, which served as an opportunity for non-varsity basketball players to compete at a similar skill level against teams from other colleges in the area.
In 2006, as a student in the Recreation and Leisure Services program, Cheng worked under the guidance and support of Jim Bialek, to expand the JV program to include regular practices, a number of fundraisers, exhibition games and tournaments, allowing for players and coaches to develop valuable life skills in teamwork, communication, time management and leadership. This exciting new avenue of the recreation program still runs today, as Extramural Basketball, which Cheng says is one of his greatest accomplishments during his time at Humber. Although Cheng moved on from the program in 2007, his ideas have continued to thrive under the leadership of Jennifer O’Reilly, Humber’s Recreation Coordinator.
The program has expanded to include multiple Ontario Collegiate Recreation sanctioned events, student internships and placements, and increased experiential learning opportunities for more than a dozen basketball coaches. Notably, Humber’s Men’s Extramural Basketball Program won back to back OCCCR Basketball Provincial Challenge Cups in 2015 and 2016, and the Women’s Basketball Program has been operating at the Extramural level since 2014.
Cheng continues to learn while pursuing a career in basketball. He earned an Honours Degree in Sociology from York University and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Human Kinetics - Sport Management at the University of Windsor. He is the Head Coach of the University of Windsor Men’s Basketball Team and an Assistant Coach for the Junior Men’s National Team. He is a former U17 Provincial Team Head Coach and a former Manager of Youth Player Development for Canada Basketball. He also coached at York University and Nipissing University. Coaching at the professional level is definitely in his sights down the road.
Building meaningful relationships through sport is one of Cheng’s fondest memories from his time at Humber. He continues to nurture relationships with a number of Humber Varsity Basketball coaches and administrators, as well as long-time Recreation and Leisure Services Professor, and recent retiree, Stacey Merritt. Cheng married Humber Varsity DancePak Alumni, Siobhan Pantin, and they have two children, Tyus & Taia.