Andrew Gersham Parker (B.A, B.Ed, M.Ed student) also known as A.G.P was born in North Edmonton in 1983. As the son of Jamaican and Grenadian parents, Andrew was heavily influenced by track and field, soccer, and other outdoor sports. But in the year 2000 Andrew attended M.E. Lazerte High School where he developed his passion for the game of basketball under the guidance of his hero and coach Thom Elniski. After graduating from M.E. Lazerte High school Andrew attended Concordia University College of Alberta where he was heavily recruited for his legendary slam dunking skills and received a scholarship to play basketball for 2 years. While at Concordia, Andrew achieved the honor of being named the Rookie of the year and he also received the silver medal in the Provincial final (a feat until that date had never been accomplished in school history). After his second year studying at Concordia, Andrew took his talent and intellect to the University of Alberta where he again received a scholarship to play basketball and was named the Most Valuable Player in the 2007 Golden Bears Invitational Tournament.
After completing his Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Alberta, Andrew decided to take his talent to the professional level. Playing basketball all over the world with stops in Germany, Brazil, France and the United States, he also played basketball at the professional level with the Edmonton Energy professional basketball team. In addition to his involvement with the Energy, Andrew has also coached college basketball at MacEwan University (2011-2014), and in the past 10 years Andrew has been involved with motivational speaking, community activism, scouting and individual training of Elementary, Junior high, High school, and various college and university players.
Andrew is currently a Master's degree student at the University of Alberta as well as a teacher at M.E.Lazerte High School. He is heavily involved in volunteering and coaching with both the junior and senior men’s basketball teams at M.E Lazerte high school. He is the founder and director of the Pride of the Northisde Tournament (A community outreach event in North Edmonton promoting positive involvement from the community through the game of basketball). Also, Andrew runs A.G.P Flight School in Edmonton to help children of all ages develop basketball and life skills. As a proud member of Edmonton’s sports community, a mentor to children, and as a professional basketball player, Andrew continues to leave his imprint on the community and the game of basketball in Edmonton.
There is one person who had the most influential role in Andrew's basketball career: Coach Thom Elniski. Thom Stanley Elniski was a high school men's basketball coach at M.E.Lazerte high school in North Edmonton Alberta Canada. Coach Thom met Andrew at a M.E.Lazerte basketball practice in 1996. Andrew's brothers Stephen Parker (CIS national champion/Edmonton Lawyer) and David Parker (commercial Realtor) were members of the men's basketball program and Andrew had tagged along that day to see his brothers play. That chance encounter was the beginning of a coaching relationship that changed Andrew's life forever.
As a coach, teacher, leader and mentor Andrew strives to express the importance of an education, the desire for self-betterment, and aiming to live up to the acronym that shares the initials of his name: A.G.P (or Always Gaining Progress).
Members of this movement amicably called the “A.G.P Squad”, aim each day to follow 5 basic principles.
1. Never forget where you are from
2. Work hard and stay positive
3. Learn from failure in order to succeed
4. Quitters never win and winners never quit
5. Anything is possible
The A.G.P Squad can be found all over the globe. Germany, Uganda, Eritrea, Somalia, Haiti, Lebanon, China, Jamaica, Grenada, The United Kingdom, The United States, Brazil, and Canada. Each country has been touched by the A.G.P movement. Here are some pictures of the A.G.P Squad around the world.