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Raptors 905 Guard Duane Notice’s Insight On His Season Ending Injury

Duane Notice | Professional Basketball Player | Raptors 905 and Hamilton Honey Badgers

Duane Notice is one of the Toronto Raptors organization’s top homegrown Canadian talents, a Canadian Elite Basketball League standout and he also represents his country on the world stage with the Men’s Canadian National Team.

After the cancellation of the NBA G-League 2019-2020 season, Duane was excited to take the court again returning for his second season with the Hamilton Honey Badgers for the 2020 CEBL Summer Series. However, on July 29, in just the third game of the series, Notice tore his left Achilles tendon, ending his season and sidelining him indefinitely from basketball.

While injuries take quite a toll on professional athletes physically, it’s no secret that these injuries are also very mentally taxing. Check out Duane’s insight on his physical rehab, the support he has gotten from his teams and how he has grown his Take Notice brand to keep busy.

 

× The interview with Duane Notice was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

Tell us about your role as a professional basketball player with the Raptors 905 and about your basketball journey leading up to this injury.

Playing for the Raptors 905 is an amazing experience. I love the sense of playing for my home town. It provides an extra level of motivation. Not to mention that it is very rare for my family to have the opportunity to watch me play live.

I am a combo guard, a defensive-minded player that’s unselfish and shoots the ball. I pride myself on trying to make the right play as consistently as possible.

The Covid-19 pandemic has put a halt to basketball fluidity and after 5 months off of competitive basketball, I was excited to play in the CEBL. During my third game, in the last quarter, I made a drive to the basket and when I accelerated I fell. I thought I was tripped by another player, but I ruptured my Achilles.

I immediately cried because everything I had worked for was taken away for the first time. It didn’t hurt. I was fortunate enough to get surgery two days after. Now I am on an 8-12 month journey back to be better than the man and player I was before.

Everyone knows that injuries can be a very difficult time mentally for professional athletes. How are you feeling and what does a typical day look like for you now?

I have days where I am extremely optimistic and then a few days when I am pessimistic but I always rely on my faith, my work ethic and my family support to bring me out of the mental rut.

My days are somewhat consistent. I wake up around 9 am, spend time with my baby sisters, head to rehab, go to physio, maybe get some on-court work in and then head home and watch sports or read or continue to work on my show. I credit me keeping busy as well for giving me the mental peace and fortitude I need to compliment my road to recovery.

Even after your season ending injury you made the decision to stay in the CEBL Summer Series bubble in support of your team the Hamilton Honey Badgers, for the remainder of the season. How has the support from your team and the CEBL been throughout your recovery so far?

The CEBL was first class from when I was there playing to when I got hurt and even afterwards. They showed me genuine support and offered love and resources to help me through the tough time.

The commissioner was in constant contact with me. He even allowed me the opportunity to shadow the broadcasting process for the remaining games of the series. I chose to stick around my team because they are my brothers and I vow to always be there unconditionally. Besides I love the game of basketball and that kept my spirits high.

Throughout your recovery you have been putting a lot of work into your Take Notice brand. Tell us about this passion of yours and about what you hope to achieve with your platform.

Take Notice is a play on my last name. It’s a call to action that anyone, specifically underdogs can embody. The ones who put in real work but are undervalued because of politics or underrated remarks. I have merchandise, I have a podcast video show and I have my documentary surrounding it.

The show is something I’m excited about, which is on my youtube channel. I interview my celebrity and high profile friends and peers. We tackle unique untold stories and current social issues.

The brand is growing and I am proud that it can resonate with a variety of people.

You have been very open about your faith throughout your basketball career but how much more important is it now during such a tough year between season cancellations and tearing your achilles?

It is easy to give praise when things are favourable but during the struggle is where faith is most required and that is the mentality I have kept throughout the COVID-19 crisis and my injury. I am pretty spiritual, more so than I am religious, and I utilize both because without I have no purpose.

Stacey Leawood Stacey's Final Thoughts

They say that life is only 20% what you go through but 80% how you handle it and this could not be more true for Duane Notice. After waiting 5 months to return to basketball after the cancellation of the NBA G-League due to Covid-19, just three games into the CEBL Summer Series, Duane suffered a very serious injury. Despite being sidelined from the game once again, he chose to stay in the CEBL bubble to not only support his teammates but also learn from their broadcasting crew and he continued to grow his brand Take Notice to stay busy during his rehab. It takes a special athlete to stay as focused on his development and determined to return as Duane has been. I look forward to continuing to follow his journey back to the game and hope that he is able to inspire you with his positivity in the face of adversity. 

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