Coach John,

I need to tell you how happy I am about the tryouts I had today for Basketball Alberta.

Everything you have put me through at CYDC academies prepared me for all of the challenges I faced today. Even before I knew the outcome of the tryout, I felt successful; I really could not have played any harder or ran any faster. When I am in one of your academies, I hate every minute of it. I hate how tired and sore I feel. Today in the tryout I realized how all of those difficult academies have paid off. Every drill we did was an easier version of what we would do at CYDC, and I thank you for putting me through all this torture. Although I might not make it further than the upcoming Edmonton tryout, I am really proud of myself and really thankful to you.

Thank you so much for being the worst coach because it makes you the best coach.




Hello Coach John,

I just finished the first half of my first year of CIS basketball. It has been an incredible experience so far and the competition is unbelievable. If there is anything that has changed since club/high school ball is how athletic, strong, and smart these players are. Especially the point guards, they are always so poised and know exactly what to do at the right time. I feel like I have competed well against these players and it can only get better for me. The main point of this email is to thank you so much for dedicating all that time for me as I have come to appreciate it even more now that I have achieved my goal of CIS basketball. From grade 8, when I started playing for CYDC, you have always been there to help me with things on and off the basketball court and not only did you help me become a better basketball player, you helped me become a better person. The same hard work, pride, and integrity that you teach at CYDC, I have learned to apply that same lesson to everything in my life. As I am sure you know that nothing feels better than accomplishing your goals in life, and when I stepped on that court for my CIS game against the University of Guelph, all those deadly wind sprints, tiresome drills, and hard practices that you put us through were all worth it.

What I found amazing and still do is your passion for the game of basketball and for life. When I came to CYDC in grade 8, I was simply a kid who liked the NBA and enjoyed playing basketball occasionally. After taking me under your wing, in about a month you had given me that same passion for basketball. After that moment in grade 8, I can confidently say that I never looked back as I knew what my goals were. Now once I look back on my whole experience at CYDC, it's the bigger picture that is preached that makes CYDC so special. Not only is the training and overall basketball program you created so special, but it's also the life lessons that are taught in which makes the program that much better. Your lessons of leadership, hard work, perseverance, and commitment allowed me to transfer that same passion for basketball to all other areas in my life such as my family, education and living life to the fullest.

The countless 8AM morning sessions with me and late weekday practices with the team all contribute to your selflessness and true dedication to the players. I know you could have been spending those hours with your family, but instead, you decided to help me accomplish my goals and give me the tools in becoming a better human being and for that, I appreciate dearly. In life, people choose their role models to be Michael Jordan or Nelson Mandela, but I decide on my role models a little differently. My role models are the ones that have directly affected me in a positive way and display a sense of altruism. I can confidently say that you are one of my role models, John, as I admire your selfless acts, caring personality, and pure dedication to life, family, and helping others.

When I was a younger player, I found it hard at times to truly interpret the messages that you and the coaching staff wanted to get across. I used to focus on the way it was said and if it wasn't said to the way I liked it, I would get down on myself. After maturing and getting exposure to the next level, I have come to realize that you and the coaching staff were only trying to help and that it's the message that you should focus on instead of the way it is said. If I can preach anything to the players of CYDC, it is focused on the true message the coach is trying to get across and never lose sight that the coaches are only trying to make you a better player.

Often younger players wonder what they can do to become a better player; I often wondered this in my years at CYDC and I still do. I've come to understand that it is not a confusing formula. There are merely three things to this formula that I believe can help any player: hard work, commitment, and passion. Firstly, hard work is the main principle out of those three, in my opinion, and as simple as it sounds for someone to work hard to become a better player, many players cut their potential short because they do not work hard. I believe CYDC is special because that is one of the main principles you and the coaching staff preach, and it has been ingrained into me now. Secondly, commitment is another very important principle because if you can't even show up to the gym, there is no way you can get better because you are not getting in the necessary repetitions. Thirdly, passion could be thought as the most important because passion is what allows us to wake up the next day and have the same drive to get better as you had the day before. These three principles are what you taught me, John, and they will be instilled in me for the rest of my life. When my name was called by the announcer for the starting lineup in my first CIS game the three people that came into my head were my parents and you, John, because of everything that you have done for me and my life. I wish you the best in the future, John!

Your friend and player,
Nick Fowler


I can confidently and honestly say that CYDC is a first-class organization from top to bottom. I have had the pleasure of building a relationship with John Hegwood over the last three years and after recently taking a trip to Calgary where I was involved in an event, Hegwood and the entire CYDC family welcomed my colleague and me with open arms. They provided us with great hospitality and treated us with the utmost respect and professionalism. In addition, it is important to note that what this organization does for young student-athletes in the community comes straight from the heart. I work alongside similar basketball organizations from all over the country and I would have to say that CYDC is second to none.

Tariq Sbiet
CEO and National Editor
NPH www.Northpolehoops.com


Hey Coach John,

I’m just heading to my first college game. Just wanted to thank you for everything that you have done to help me out; on and off the court.

The life lessons you have taught me I will be able to take with me for the rest of my life will always be treasured. I remember learning the principals of hard work, determination, pride and intensity at a young age from you and how it helped my development of learning the game we all love.

Hope to hear from you soon, Derian Manville. CYDC 4 life!



Dear Coach John, Coach Glad, and Coach Steve,

I want to thank each of you for all the support and encouragement you have given me. Thank you for standing by me during my injuries.

I know that CYDC has helped a lot with my asthma and physical conditioning. You have all taught me about character, determination, and loyalty.

I will always be loyal to the CYDC program and I am very grateful for what it has taught me.

You are terrific coaches and I am lucky to have been coached by you.

I think my injuries are finally resolved and I do not want to stop playing basketball and other sports. This year, I have decided to give my best to everything. I have set high goals in school, school team sports, music, and club basketball and volleyball.

And I think I will be the kind of person that you would be proud of.

Even though I am not playing with CYDC this year, I know I will see you in the gym and at games. And I know I will be part of CYDC in some way forever.

Thank you for everything.

Former CYDC Athlete (name requested to stay anonymous)





"For many people, it’s difficult to understand what we do. It sounds silly to most when they think that every single one of us trains so hard for a game that only lasts forty minutes. But in truth, it’s more than that. It’s the early morning and late night practices, the sweat, the blood, and the tears. It’s the sacrifices you make, not only for yourself but for something bigger than you. The team, your family, the people that were there for the early morning and late night practices, the sweat, the blood, and the tears. And that most importantly, encouraged and pushed you beyond your limit, past what you ever believed possible, to achieve something that very few will ever know or experience. And that’s true greatness.”

~ CYDC player Shanice Govia ~



Coach John & CYDC Family,

I just wanted to take the time to really thank you for all of the crucial lessons I have learned from being part of CYDC. I really appreciate you sticking by me through the tough times because even the lessons I didn't learn back then...I understand them now. Everything makes sense now. Coach John, if it were not for you none of my current success that I am enjoying would be possible. I'm so glad that I finally shut up and listened to you. You are among the most important and influential people in my life and I have a GREAT deal of respect for you. You are the kind of person that I strive to be and I will continue to strive for as I continue to grow. This is not just my success, this is OUR success. Because I think that's what CYDC is all about. Calgary Youth Development Centre. Basketball is not even in the title. You develop young men. I always think back to all the great times I had with you and all the guys. I will keep these memories with me forever. No one can take that away from me! Basketball is secondary to the quality of guys that are made by CYDC. I feel truly blessed to be a part of it. Anytime that I'm home, I'd be happy to drop by or whatever. Just let me know! Anything you need.

Thanks again for everything. I am truly in debt to you and the whole CYDC Family.

I str8 up love you, Coach John. You are the dad I never really had.

I love you ALL.




Hello Coach,

I just want to thank you for all your teachings and the way you trained me during the last 3 months. Now I'm playing with my team here in Mexico and my skill level is upgraded thanks to you, Coach. You taught me discipline, to be constant and to never stop practicing. I'm still practicing in the mornings, now like a habit for me, thanks to you sir.

Now I really follow all the CYDC teachings and philosophy and I just want you to know that you have been making excellent work for future basketball players. For me, it is amazing how you manage all the academy players and the training.

Congratulations, John, and thanks for all. I hope to see you soon and if not I will be writing to you by email.

Thank you for all,

Gus from Mexico



This letter of reference is written by me (Dejuan Peart) a former player for John Hegwood. The experience I had with Coach John has not only impacted me on the court, but it has also influenced my day to day life.

I was introduced to Coach Hegwood in the ninth grade. At that time I thought I knew a lot about the game of basketball, but that was soon gone after going through my first practice with him. He taught me all the fundamentals needed to get to the next level. One thing I truly admire about Coach Hegwood is the way he pushed us. He made it very clear, that to make it anywhere in life, one needs to be disciplined to work hard. He always pushed us farther than we thought we could go. At the time I didn't understand why, but now I look back and I appreciate everything he put us through. Any team that he coached was always known for their intensity and discipline.

I really noticed from the start that he had a heart for the youth. He has a gift of motivation; the way he portrays the game allows anyone to learn. I've never had a coach that has been so passionate about the game of basketball. Another attribute of coach John I admire is his patience, he was always willing to give us extra help and training. He did whatever he could to see us all succeed. The fact that Coach John has played professional Basketball; I find that we all respected him more because he has done everything that we were dreaming of. All the lines we had to run, he ran them, all the shots we put up, he already put them up. The fact that he knows what it takes to make it to the top is a key attribute to coach any aspiring basketball player. He kept telling me I can make it; I thank him for all his help.

Through Coach Hegwood's encouragement and training; I have experienced Basketball and life at the collegiate level in the United States. Coming from Canada, players dream of playing basketball in America. Coach Hegwood always told me I had the gifts to play anywhere I wanted to, that motivation really helped me. I just finished my first year at Vanguard University of Southern California, it's a private Christian (NAIA div 1) school. It has been a great experience and I look forward to where God will take me.

I would definitely recommend John Hegwood, as a coach, trainer or a person to motivate others. Whatever the case may be he is ready for the task.

Dejuan Peart (DJ)



This letter of reference has been written with input from both father and son (Ryan Wetherell - player and Don Wetherell - father) as the experience of working with Coach John Hegwood has been and still is greatly rewarding and beneficial to both player and family. Coach John Hegwood displays a sincere caring attitude towards his players and a unique ability to communicate and motivate them. The way in which he trains motivates and teaches clearly produces exceptional results, regardless of a player's individual temperament and personality. When you combine his ability to motivate and train with his highly advanced experience and understanding of the game of basketball, it becomes obvious that Coach Hegwood is a true gift to players of all ages and levels.

Ryan began working with John four years ago and continued to train with him until his move to a US college in August 2006. The results and benefits have been outstanding. Coach John still maintains close contact with Ryan by phone, continuing his role as a mentor. Ryan is now a junior point guard at USC in Los Angeles and enjoys the motivation provided by John's counsel each week. The benefits of John's training are numerous, such as; advanced understanding of the game, noting individual weaknesses while providing solutions and practice strategies, practical drill techniques and exceptional conditioning, to name only a few. From a parent's standpoint, Coach John truly offers himself as an appropriate role model for your child, regardless of age, both in training as well as in game situations. He offers peace of mind to parents knowing your son (or daughter) had the influence and added direction provided by Coach John Hegwood.

In addition to Ryan being trained and coached by John, Ryan's younger brother, Taylor (Now 17), has and continues to enjoy what John provides at an even earlier age. Obviously, seeing the results of his older brother's experience, it was a “no-brainer' to take advantage of the same opportunity and John plays a major role in Taylor's basketball world as well. Taylor now plays for two teams in the US. His school team at JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano, California and The Southern California All-Stars, the current top-ranked AAU/High School program in the nation. Taylor will attend the University of San Diego. In a father's opinion and if you're serious, you must get your child with Coach John. You will fast take note of the benefits. In closing, we want to note that Coach John Hegwood is a man of great character and integrity and, with pleasure, we highly recommend him. If you have taken the time to inquire about Coach John, we hope this has been helpful. By working with him, we are confident you will realize the benefits and rewards that we have.

Kind regards,
Ryan (6'0 Point Guard USC Trojans) and Don Wetherell (father)



It is my great pleasure to write this testimonial on behalf of John Hegwood. I have known John for almost twenty years since he first came to Calgary to play for the Calgary 88's. As a player, he was intense, a hard worker, and very much a team guy. He demonstrates these same traits in his work with Calgary Elite program. I know of few people who are as inspirational, focused, and dedicated as John. He has truly devoted his adult life to helping young people pursue their basketball dreams. Calgary is a much better basketball community because of the tremendous work John has done.

Cory Russell


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