Windsor's Maurice Calloo living 'dream come true' playing NCAA March Madness tournament

·2 min read
Maurice Calloo grew up in Windsor, Ont. He now plays as a forward for Oregon State and is in the NCAA March Madness Tournament. (Canadian Press - image credit)
Maurice Calloo grew up in Windsor, Ont. He now plays as a forward for Oregon State and is in the NCAA March Madness Tournament. (Canadian Press - image credit)

Windsor's Maurice Calloo, a forward for Oregon State University, says he's grateful and happy despite the adversity he's faced to be able to play on the biggest stage of college basketball.

Calloo started off at Catholic Central high school in Windsor, helping the team win a Windsor-Essex County Secondary School Athletic Association title in Grade 9. He soon moved to the U.S. to play ball there and is now in Indianapolis, playing the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) March Madness tournament.

"It's been a dream come true," Calloo told CBC News. "I've been dreaming about this ever since I've been playing basketball. It's all I've dreamed of, so words can't explain the feeling right now but it's definitely a blessing."

Given the pandemic, Calloo said the experience has been "different" but he and his teammates have learned to adjust.

"You know taking it one day at a time and just being grateful that we're able to play basketball, that's how I've been looking at it, in a positive standpoint," he said, adding that they get tested for COVID-19 every day.

WATCH: Calloo talks about living his 'dream come true'

Callo and his team have surprised many by winning their first two games. They're now among the final 16 teams, playing the tournament.

As Calloo continues to ride this high of his career, he says Windsor still holds a special place.

"Windsor is my home, growing up there it treated me well," he said, adding that the coaches in the region, such as Peter Cusumano, played a big role in his growing basketball career.

Not only that but he said he still hears from others in the region, who have reached out in support of where he is now.

"My third grade teacher reached out to me, I felt like it was good it gave me goose bumps and just put a smile on my face and I appreciate things like that," he said.

Calloo says the success he has found and that of NBA player Mychal Mulder, who is also from Windsor, holds hope for others who are growing up in the city and dreaming big.

"It just shows the kids in the neighbourhoods that are playing basketball in Windsor that dreams do come true," he said. "Just continue to work hard and you can achieve anything you set your mind to."

Oregon State plays their next game on Saturday against Loyola University Chicago Ramblers at 2:40 p.m. EST.

If they win they will advance to the "Elite 8" in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.