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Skal Labissiere has carried a one-of-a-kind work ethic throughout his journey

Skal Labissiere - photo by Walter Cornett

– photo by Walter Cornett

It's 2006 in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti and a taller-than-usual 10-year-old is dominating the volleyball courts at school. Skal Labissiere is a natural. With size and skill, the young boy spends his time between the volleyball court and the soccer field. Despite his admiration for both sports, the competition never progressed past the likes of inter-school practices and friendly matches.

Finally, at the age of 12, thanks to a suggestion by his mother, the Haiti native started learning the game of basketball. The size was already there – Skal stood at 6-foot-5 – but Labissiere needed to pick up the fundamentals quickly. Fortunately, as he's proved time and time again, he's a fast learner.

Skal attended a school with over 2,000 students. And in order to stay and play on one of its two outdoor basketball courts, Skal's pickup teams had to win. If they didn't, he'd have to stand on the sidelines and watch, waiting for the next opportunity. It's on these courts that Labissiere's skills quickly developed and he joined his school's basketball team within the same year he began learning the game.

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