Basketball player opens up during Badgers vs Bullying

Dani Elgadi knows the fear and shame of bullies making you their target. The Brock men’s basketball player wasn’t always 6’7”. In fact, he was the shortest kid in his Grade 5 class. He was shy, quiet and non-confrontational.And, he was bullied.Elgadi shared his story with 800 elementary students from 20 local schools during the Badgers vs. Bullying event held at Brock University Thursday, Oct. 22.He recalled how two older boys bullied him on a few occasions as he walked home from schools.But, it wasn’t the bullies who made the biggest impression on him. It was the strangers who stepped in and made it stop.You can ask for help. Whatever you can’t handle alone, you have people who can help you.“These were bystanders who saw something, knew it was wrong and they did something,” he said.After that, Elgadi decided to ask for help from his older brothers, who from then on walked home with him.He urged the students to reach out if they are being bullied.“You can ask for help. Whatever you can’t handle alone, you have people who can help you,” he said.That’s the message head coach Charles Kissi also gave the students.He told them about a time when he was too scared to ask for help – he ended up walking for four hours in the blistering cold until he couldn’t take it anymore and asked a cab driver for a ride. The driver didn’t make him pay the fare. It taught Kissi that people will help when you ask.The students also heard from Brock bullying expert Associate Professor Tony Volk and basketball player Johneil Simpson before watching the Badgers take the court against the University of Victoria Vikes. Brock won 99-69.This was the inaugural Badgers vs. Bullying event, which quickly reached its maximum capacity of 800 students. Another 2,000 students from dozens of additional schools had to be turned away for this year, but the students will all be given free tickets to a future Brock Badgers men’s basketball home game. Plans to host next year’s social awareness event at a bigger venue are already being considered. read more