Register to attend the Virtual Toronto Global Sports Summit Register now

From June 7th-11th, UCFB and GIS will be hosting the Virtual Toronto Global Sports Summit and giving students, alumni and staff the chance to hear from some of the leading names in Canadian sport.

From ice hockey to soccer to basketball, Toronto is home to North American sporting instititions such as NBA’s Raptors, MLS’ Toronto FC and NHL’s Maple Leafs. Keep on reading to find out who’ll be talking and what to expect from day two of the summit...

Innovations in Sports Science

Alex McKechnie

Alex McKechnie joined the Raptors in July 2011 to oversee all athletic training, rehabilitation and strength and conditioning for the franchise. He has been part of six NBA championship winning teams and is regarded as an industry leader in core training and movement integration. Prior to coming to Toronto, McKechnie worked for 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, including eight as the athletic performance coordinator.

A native of Glasgow, Scotland, McKechnie graduated from the Leeds School of Physiotherapy and came to Canada in 1974 to be the head physiotherapist to the Varsity Athletic Program at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. McKechnie also served as the team physiotherapist for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League (1974-82) and team physiotherapist for the 1976 Canadian Olympic Soccer Team.

McKechnie left Simon Fraser in 1977 to open his own private practice specializing in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Three years later, he began working on a consultant basis with the Vancouver Canucks (1980-2000) and the Canadian Senior Men’s National Soccer Team in 2000 that won the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

In 2001, after two years of work and research, McKechnie was issued a United States patent on the Torsion Board which he subsequently licensed with Reebok to produce the Reebok Core Board, a device widely used in the NBA, NFL, NHL and gyms in North America. He also developed the Core X system which has been widely adopted in the NBA, NFL, NHL, Premier League and European soccer.

McKechnie was inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.

MLSE & Esports

Shane Talbot – Director eSports, MLSE

  • Currently in his fourth season at MLSE, Shane Talbot has managed operations for the company’s entry into esports across all properties including Raptors Uprising in the NBA 2K League, Toronto FC's professional FIFA program (eMLS), Leafs Gaming League (NHL) and other gaming-related initiatives.
  • Talbot led Raptors Uprising to a historic 2020 season which included the team achieving the league’s first undefeated regular season (16-0) along with Uprising becoming the first team in the league’s three-year history to capture the first two tournaments of the season (THE TIPOFF and THE TURN).
  • In November 2020, Talbot was named Team Manager for Canada’s NBA 2K eNational Team ahead of the FIBA Esports Open, overseeing roster selection, operations and team performance.
  • Prior to joining MLSE, Talbot served as Chief Operating Officer at Luminosity Gaming, an industry leading endemic esports organization with over $3M in tournament prize money won across a dozen different game titles including Overwatch, Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty, multiple fighting games, Madden & more.
  • Talbot initially entered the esports industry from a background in tech startups that led him to Seattle-based Unikrn Inc. - an esports betting and news media company.
  • Talbot was born and raised in the Toronto-area and has been a lifelong fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors.

Kenneth “Kenny Got Work” Hailey, Point Guard, Raptors Uprising Gaming Club

  • Kenneth Hailey (gamertag: Kenny Got Work) became Raptors Uprising’s first-ever draft pick, chosen 11th overall in the 2018 NBA 2K League Draft, before getting retained for each subsequent season.
  • The Memphis native made a name for himself by winning the NBA 2K17 All-Star Tournament and taking a share of the $250,000 USD prize with his team, “Still Thrill.”
  • “Kenny Got Work” enjoyed a record-breaking 2020 season which included ten individual accolades:
  • NBA 2K League’s Most Valuable Player award
  • Two Tournament Most Valuable Player awards (THE TIPOFF and THE TURN)
  • Four NBA 2K League Player of the Week awards (Weeks 1, 3, 8 and 11)
  • Two NBA 2K League Player of the Month awards (May and July)
  • NBA 2K League Fan Engagement Award (awarded to the player who demonstrated outstanding fan engagement through social media and content creation)
  • The 31-year-old is the longest-serving Raptors Uprising player and is the only player to represent Toronto in all four NBA 2K League seasons.
  • Prior to joining NBA 2K League professionally, Hailey was working full-time for AT&T, a telecommunications company, as a distribution coordinator. Hailey started playing 2K in 1999 with his uncle, Montrell, who would often defeat him at the game. This encouraged Hailey to practice harder to improve his skillset. In 2007, Hailey began competitively and gained popularity in the online community.

Xavier “Type” Vescovi (Centre, Raptors Uprising Gaming Club)

  • Xavier Vescovi (gamertag: “Type”) was acquired by Raptors Uprising via a trade with Hornets Venom GT for Jerry “Sick One” Knapp in November 2020.
  • “Type” was drafted 52nd overall (fourth round) by Warriors Gaming Squad, NBA 2K League affiliate of the Golden State Warriors, in the 2018 NBA 2K League Draft. In 2019, Warriors Gaming Squad won the NBA 2K League’s second tournament of the season – THE TURN, and “Type” was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, averaging 13.3 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.
  • In 2020, “Type” averaged 13.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 2.7 steals and 3.0 blocks in 29 regular season games for Hornets Venom GT. The Indianapolis native ranked seventh overall in steals and twelfth in rebounds per game, while leading the NBA 2K League in blocks per game during the regular season.
  • Prior to joining NBA 2K League professionally, Vescovi was working three jobs, taking care of his mother and playing popular video game "NBA 2K" in his free time while taking a semester off from classes at Indiana State.

Digital Labs & The Remote Fan Experience

Sumit Arora - Senior Director, Strategy & Analytics (eSports) MLSE

Sumit is Senior Director, Strategy & Analytics for MLSE as part of MLSE Digital Labs, the organization’s technology, digital and innovation group. He leads business analytics, and oversees and supports innovation strategy across MLSE’s business operations. Sumit also leads MLSE’s esports programs including business operations for the NBA 2K League Raptors Uprising, and MLSE’s Future of Sport Lab incubator. He has previously led MLSE’s Ticketing Membership team, including Season Seat Retention, VIP/Premium and Fan Experience.