October’s Featured Artist is Quincy Mack (aka Q-MACK), a professional basketball freestyler, NBA entertainer, public speaker and youth educator from Brantford. Q-MACK has been entertaining audiences all over North America since 2000 with his dazzling basketball tricks and engaging personality.
Q-MACK began working for the NBA in 2000 as a touring entertainer and live event host and was signed by Nike in 2001 as a basketball freestyler and personality. He has since been hired by over 4000 schools to energize their students, promoting messages about inclusivity, creativity and anti-bullying. “Over the past 20 years, I’ve worked with countless celebrities from LeBron James and Steph Curry to Snoop Dogg, but I am most proud to have educated 2 million students and to be Canada’s most requested school assembly,” Q-MACK adds.
The NBA employs Q-MACK to host their largest youth events across North America, including National Junior NBA Day at every All-Star Weekend, which allows him to use his freestyle basketball art form and public speaking skills to educate thousands of students nationwide. Using basketballs, a variety of halftime show style props like magic tricks, juggling acts, and balancing stunts, along with his trust headset mic hooked up to giant speakers, Q-MACK is clearly a fan favourite at any show.
When asked who first inspired his artistic pursuits, Q-MACK says:
“I come from a family of principals and teachers both in Brantford and Six Nations, so I was inspired to find a cool way to educate kids. Freestyle basketball provided me the perfect vehicle to entertain and educate simultaneously. As a teacher, principal, and university professor, my mom was the biggest influence in creating my career path. She taught me that if you’re creative, sincere, and energetic you can really connect with kids that might otherwise be tough to reach.”
With no live events on the horizon due to COVID-19, Q-MACK has created an exciting distance education resource called the Q-MACK Virtual Learning Pack to teach his art form of freestyle basketball to kids everywhere. It contains 10 videos teaching 50 different moves, while highlighting All-Star Character Traits every student needs including: optimism, respect, responsibility, teamwork, kindness, empathy, perseverance, kindness, initiative, courage, and inclusiveness. From entertaining packed NBA arenas of 20,000 fans to providing principals and teachers with cool virtual resources that their students look forward to, Q-MACK is one of many local entrepreneurs and entertainers working hard to pivot their business models to adapt to our new way of normal.
“With this challenging new school year coming up, I’m really excited to provide the teachers in Brantford with some distance learning material that their students will actually love. It’s perfect for a physically-distanced gym class outside as well.”
Q-MACK’s story is incredibly inspiring. He openly shares with the audience his undeniable love for basketball, admitting that he was never the best player on any team he played for. He practiced a lot and worked really hard, so he could follow his dad’s advice, “find a job that you love and you’ll never have to “work” a day in your life.” Q-MACK’s advice to young developing artists is similar: “practice your artistic expression to the point you can utilize your craft to perform, teach, travel, and inspire.” He also cautions that the “grind is real and 10,000 hours is really just a good start.”
Q-MACK lives in Toronto, but frequently visits Brantford, where his family and some of his best friends still live. He refers to Brantford affectionately as one of his favourite cities in the world to visit. “Brantford has amazing youth programs and a friendly community vibe that’s not easy to find.”
To find out more about Q-MACK, visit him online at www.qmack.com