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TORONTO (February 13, 2023) – The Canada Basketball Foundation™ announced Monday that Lay-Up Youth Basketball, a cost-free community-based basketball charity designed for children and youth (6-29) of all skill levels, has been selected as the organization’s first “UNIFIED Partner.”

“The Canada Basketball Foundation is committed to supporting community and grassroots organizations whose priorities align with ours to foster equitable, diverse and inclusive youth basketball programming,” said Sheron Lau, Chair, Canada Basketball Foundation Board of Directors. “Over the last several years, Lay-Up Youth Basketball has developed into a community leader, delivering accessible basketball programming to underserved, under-represented and marginalized participants. We’re looking forward to working closely together over the next several years to get more youth involved in our game.” 

Last month, the Canada Basketball Foundation announced a re-launch of the organization with a renewed focus on removing access barriers, while continuing to grow the diversity and equity of the game at the community grassroots level.

In addition to creating the UNIFIED Assist Program, the Canada Basketball Foundation has also established community-based UNIFIED Partnerships, which provide support to organizations who not only have a long-term and on-going affiliation with the organization, but also shared values, objectives and priorities.

The UNIFIED Partnership between the Canada Basketball Foundation and Lay-Up Youth Basketball, will work to increase access to the game through Lay-Up delivered programs focused specifically on skill development, coaching, officiating education, and sport leadership programming for youth in underrepresented groups and neighbourhood improvement areas.

“Lay-Up is honoured to become the first UNIFIED partner of the Canada Basketball Foundation,” said Chris Penrose, Executive Director of Lay-Up Youth Basketball. “We look forward to working together to not only maximize education and awareness opportunities, but also foster balanced representation in the basketball and sport community. Our work with the Foundation has been rooted in organic collaboration and a shared vision to see continued transformation across the basketball landscape from the grassroots to the highest level of the game.”

The Canada Basketball Foundation originally partnered with Lay-Up through their Crossover program back in 2021. The Lay-Up Crossover program is designed for youth ages 15-29 who want to develop new skills and work in the basketball industry. Participants in Crossover are paid for the time while receiving NCCP, NOCP, CPR and First Aid certifications. The program also includes key creative industry skills, and networking opportunities. This year, the Canada Basketball Foundation is collaborating with Lay-Up to amplify the Crossover Program by engaging mentors to provide participants with unique experiences and learning opportunities across the basketball industry.  Interested Crossover applicants are encouraged to submit an application ahead of the upcoming March 3rd, 2023 due date here.

Over the next two years, the partnership between the two organizations will also expand beyond Crossover, and collaborate on Lay-Up programs such as Sky High, a program for female identifying youth that uses basketball to develop the skills needed on and off the court, as well as the establishment of a Youth 3×3 House League program.

For more information on the Canada Basketball Foundation™ and to donate to help support the organization’s mission to foster safe, diverse, equitable and inclusive basketball opportunities for youth across Canada, visit or click here.


The Canada Basketball Foundation™ is a registered charitable organization dedicated to unifying Canada as a basketball nation by supporting safe, equitable, and inclusive basketball programming. Working directly with Canada Basketball, the Canada Basketball Foundation aims to remove access barriers in community organizations who are focused on delivering programs related to coaching and officiating, leadership and skill development, and serving underrepresented or historically racialized youth across Canada.


Lay-Up Youth Basketball is a charitable organization that delivers cost-free programs designed to develop the skills kids need on and off the court. Lay-Up provides evidence-based basketball, coach development programs, culture of basketball workshops and employment opportunities in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas across Toronto.

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For more information, contact:
Matt Walker, mwalker@basketball.c