By Derek Dabee
Every coach of team sports loves to have players with exceptional talents and the willingness to learn. Ten-year-old basketball sensation Mekhi Dela Cruz Lisan fits that bill.
Mekhi started playing little league basketball at age five. In the following five years, his teams have racked up an amazing 12 league and tournament championships.
Recently, his teams won the 2014 Hoop It Up 3-on-3 tournament, the Grand Forks Grade 4 Division Championships and he was the winner of the 2014 Philippines Basketball Association (PBA) All Star and MVP awards.
When Mekhi was just three, he would take to the court with his mini-basketball at halftime of his older brothers’ games at Red River Community Centre. It was the start of his stellar career.
In 2010 Mekhi joined his first team — Junior Tykes — in the Winnipeg Athletic Association for Youth (WAAY). His team won the championship. The coach. Mike Lisan — Mekhi’s dad — stressed fair play and sportsmanship to his young players.
Mekhi is currently a member of the Winnipeg Spirit in the Philippines Basketball Association. Veteran coach Red Ducharme said, “I can spot a special athlete and Mekhi is super-talented. At any game situation I can put in Mekhi and he brings a smile to my face.”
His PBA team will represent Winnipeg at this year’s Cities Filipino Basketball Association tournament in Windsor, Ont.
Tournament coach Ron Balingit said “Mekhi practices sportsmanship and his court sense is very advanced.”
The keen Grade 4 student at A.E. Wright School is excellent in track and field sports. He also likes to ride his bike and play video games.
The popular young champion is a committed basketballer who loves to improve his game. He likes to attend high school games and a basketball hoop is a magnet to him. Whether in his driveway, school gyms or at the community centre, he will always find time to go and practise his shots.
“The joy of playing the game is the magic of Mekhi’s success,” said Alexzandra Dela Cruz, Mekhi’s mother.
Derek Dabee is a community correspondent for The Maples. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org