Michael Reio's passion for basketball shows in his popular Toronto adult leagues
Reio has degree in sports management and lifelong passion for recreational basketball. Combine the two, and it’s only natural that Reio’s goal more than a decade ago was to build the best basketball program in Toronto. “I never played at a high level,” said Reio, who grew up in Hamilton and attended college in the Toronto area. “I was playing in various different men’s leagues and my goal was to be basically better than they were. A need was there for well-run quality programs -- there wasn’t enough of them.” Reio has years of experience as a referee, coach and administrator, so he’s seen the machinations of basketball leagues from all angles. He founded Basketball World Toronto in 2006, and, as written on the organization's Who We Are page, its “programs have grown in size each year since inception, to the point where BWT is now the largest provider of basketball programs and services in Toronto.”
Reio created a men’s division that has about 40 to 50 teams per season and more than 450 players, Toronto's only men’s corporate division that has between 14 and 16 teams each season with more than 200 players last season and Toronto's only women’s league that has between six and eight teams and more than 70 players each season. Basketball World Toronto also offers a Youth Basketball Academy (including house leagues, camps, clinics and small group training) that annually offers instruction to more than 200 kids and, through its offerings, involves close to 1,000 kids per year. As part of his mission to create an organized and professionally-run league, Reio has organized a scorekeeping system that allocates resources to track and post statistics from each game. “Usually within 12 to 24 hours we have the scores and stats posted,” Reio said. “Doing that creates a great engagement level.” A look at the 2017 Men’s Elite Winter Division shows statistics that go well beyond scoring to include rebounding, assists, steals and blocks. “From the research I’ve done, very few leagues across North America (keep statistics) to the level we do it at.” As much as keeping in-depth statistics differentiates Basketball World Toronto from other adult basketball leagues, Reio recognizes there are more important aspects to his programs. “Statistics are not the end-all, be-all for everyone,” he said. “To have a well-run program, you need to make it easy to register, you have to have a website that is easy to access.” To that end, Reio oversaw the creation of a branded mobile app and approved the migration of his old site to a mobile responsive template.
Reio has ensured that the Team BWT page has photos and bios for the organization’s office team, lead coaches and game coordinators and assistant coaches and game staff. “From my standpoint, I can’t do this on my own,” he said. “Recognition of our staff members is crucial.”