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How Toronto Raptors’ Alex McKechnie Built a Career in the NBA

Imagine being the world expert on how to get great athletes out of injury and back on the court, field, or ice. Imagine being the guy that got Shaq playing again, or helped Paul Kariya and Steve Nash and Owen Hargreaves have the careers they did. Pretty lofty CV, by any standards. That man is Alex McKechnie.

As a young boy growing up in Scotland, Mckechnie dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player, but soon realized that dream might be out of reach. Instead, he turned to the next closest thing that would get him on the pitch, and set his sights on becoming the world’s best physiotherapist. That choice led him on a career path he could never have imagined. Within the space of a couple decades, McKechnie had lined up a resume that included head physiotherapist at Simon Fraser University, the Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Canucks and the Canadian men’s national soccer team that won the 2000 Gold Cup Championship. Oh, and did we mention—while building his career in the professional sports world, McKechnie also started and operated his private physiotherapy clinic on the side, where he worked with everyday athletes and stars alike to recover from injury.

Word of his success traveled across North America; if you wanted your star player—or any player, for that matter— back on roster, McKechnie was the one to call. So when his phone rang around 2005 and the Los Angeles Lakers were on the other end, McKechnie’s career truly took off into the rafters. Five NBA championship rings and a handful of athlete success stories later, the phone rang again. This time, it was the Toronto Raptors, with an offer that would bring him back to his adopted homeland for a job as the director of sports science and assistant coach.

 

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