Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Lee Anna Osei, I am a Toronto born Women’s Basketball Coach for the StFX (Saint Francis Xavier) Women’s Basketball Team in Nova Scotia. Coaching is something I am very passionate about, and I have been involved with Provincial teams and Club teams for as long as I could remember in working with elite level programs, regardless of gender.
As a former student-athlete turned coach, I believe my unique experiences in playing abroad has a significant impact on my coaching style. I attended legendary high school Eastern High School in Toronto, Ontario where I won multiple OFSAA championships and went on to become a scholarship athlete and played Division 1 basketball at the University of Miami in Florida, Junior College ball at Trinity Valley in Texas, and concluded in getting my Bachelors and Masters degree from Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Throughout my playing career I also maintained good grades and at WLU was a 3-time CIS Academic All Canadian.
In 2012 I founded Canletes Basketball, a platform utilized to promote and support the journeys of prospective basketball players of all ages – through development, recruitment consulting, facilitation of exposure and showcase events, management and fundraising efforts.
I live by the so called click of, “Ball is Life” and I believe the sport unites more people than it does divide!
How has sport helped you develop skills for your work today?
Basketball has not only introduced me to some of the most important mentors and leaders I interact with now, it has helped me develop skills such as time management, overcoming adversity, prioritizing my academics while socially it has helped me become more vocally outspoken, opened my mind to thinking about how individuals and groups come together, and has taught me the importance of community outreach.
How has sport helped you be a better leader?
Sports and basketball, in particular, has taught me the very important principle of leading by example in action and taking accountability for those actions. For instance, expecting my players to act or perform or think a specific kind of way comes from displaying those same qualities. I believe that adopting a mentality of always striving for excellence “Xcellence” and working smarter – not necessarily harder than the competition has made a positive impact on not only my coaching style, but how I live my life.
Why did you continue to stay involved in sport? How has sport continued to have a positive impact on you?
I try to stay as involved in the Ontario and Canadian basketball community as possible, and often attend various team practices as a freelance coach, a guest speaker to share my experiences, or in organizing events promoting student and professional athletes through Canletes Basketball. My goal is to bring the same kind of positive growth to the game in my recent move to Nova Scotia.
This is what her nominator had to say…
Lee Anna has been a leader in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond by using Basketball as a tool to motivate, educate and connect young aspiring youth to aspire towards pursuing post-secondary athletic scholarships while attaining academic excellence. Her devotion to the game comes full circle as she is a first generation Canadian of Ghanaian descent who used Basketball as a tool to escape poverty. She has now become one of the most recognizable faces in the Greater Toronto Area and one of Canada’s top basketball youth coaches (working for the Provincial team, current National team members, and top high school and college athletes. She is also a huge advocate of women in sport and facilitates a number of events on a yearly basis to promote female basketball in Ontario. Lee Anna has most recently been recognized as one of the top coaches in Ontario’s top prep school leagues, the OSBA. In her 1st year she led her team to a Championship game berth while securing the best overall record in Canada’s top league at 18-2.