Drawing on the inspiration to honor the legacy of his late father and the importance of his immediate family, The PS43 Foundation founder, Pascal Siakam, hopes to impact communities in a way that both makes a difference and honors the people who made sacrifices to see him succeed.
Pascal’s late father, Tchamo Siakam, was passionate about education, believing in both its importance and value. Education was something Tchamo believed not only enriched someone’s life but could empower a person and make them a better citizen. It is therefore his father’s commitment to learning and providing access to education that Pascal wanted to carry on when it was time to set up his own charitable initiatives.
The foundation is rooted in family by its very name. Forty-three is Pascal’s jersey number, representing the four men (his father and three brothers) and three women (his mother and two sisters) of his family. The PS43 Foundation is a shared initiative that binds Pascal and his family while giving back to the community.
Pascal Siakam is a professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He achieved one of his, and his father’s, biggest dreams by not only getting drafted to an NBA team (Toronto Raptors) in 2016 but also winning the NBA title in 2019 with the Raptors. In a career telling of hard work and dedication, Pascal worked his way into the NBA and spent time with the Raptors’ minor league affiliate (NBA G-League), Raptors 905, where he earned Most Valuable Player honors of the 2017 G- League Finals.
A native of Cameroon, Pascal has seen firsthand the need for empowering children to dream big no matter where they come from. He recognizes those all over the world who are just like he was prior to his basketball journey — a young child who could not fathom reaching the pinnacle of his profession.
Looking beyond the sport of basketball, Pascal hopes to inspire children to feel like they have a chance at anything they want in life. Basketball has been more than a game to Pascal. It has given Pascal the opportunity to reach new heights and give back to youth in ways he never imagined possible.
Pascal was Right To Play’s 2019 Athlete Hero for his philanthropic efforts. He is also a member of the Jr. NBA Canada Advisory Board, supports Giants of Africa’s initiatives in his native continent of Africa, and received the NBA Cares Community Assist Award in February 2019.
Pascal launched The PS43 Foundation in April 2021.
Photo by Kevin Couliau