John River Performing at #NPHPlatform + Special Guest Speaker George Papadakos

Tickets are on sale online at, by phone with Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-5000, at all Ticketmaster Retail Outlets, and at the Mattamy Athletic Centre Box Office.

He was co-signed by J. Cole, co-signed by Kardinal Offishall. He was the youngest Toronto rapper to ever appear on Toronto’s infamous radio station, Flow 93.5.

At only 19 years of age, John River is already making a name for himself in the hip hop industry.

Much like the Canadian student-athletes at the NPH Platform, River  is pursuing his dream through his work ethic and talent.

The Co-sign from established names like J. Cole and Kardinal Offishall have backed his talent, and have encouraged him to keep striving.

Mississauga's John River will perform at the #NPHPlatform
Mississauga’s John River will perform at the #NPHPlatform

John River’s approach to his craft is perfectly aligned with that of @NorthPoleHoops — pursue your goals relentlessly.

“Persistence is extraordinarily key…If you say you are going to do something, you have to do it,” exclaimed River.

The Mississauga, Ontario product has a very unique and interesting story to how he got the attention of J. Cole.

The first ever meeting between Cole and River was actually more of a chase. After a J. Cole performance in Toronto, there was word through the grapevine that J. Cole’s flight was at 5am and when River had heard this, he followed him to the airport and waited the whole night, wondering if there would ever be a sign of J. Cole or Ibrahim (President of Dreamville Records).

John River described his feelings as he waited on his favourite artist at the airport for hours.

“At that moment I felt defeated, crushed.”

When he was ready to call it quits and head home, he looked up and almost in disbelief saw J. Cole arriving late for his flight; he ran up to him and greeted him with a bottle of Hennessy–Cole’s beverage of choice.

Mission number one had been completed for the night by meeting J. Cole and telling him as much of the John River story as he could.



Next, River was relentless in tracking down Ibrahim, President of Dreamville Records all the way in Queens, New York so that he could have 40 seconds of his time to showcase his talents. At first, Ibrahim was fuming at the fact that his privacy had been invaded by the young man in front of him, but quickly calmed down after hearing what it took for him to get to Queens.

Ibrahim was all ears and was thoroughly impressed; the two exchanged emails and things have been on the up and up for John River since that day. Last week, River put out a teaser on twitter, preparing his fan base for a big year ahead, hinting at a possible J. Cole-John River collabo?

Great news. Hope City x Dreamville. 2014 stay tuned. – @TheJohnRiver


Basketball and hip-hop; the two industries have intertwined for years.

“From J. Cole and Master P ballin’ to Kobe and Shaq putting out rap songs, it has always been that way,” explained River.

The connection is clear through River’s work, as Canadian basketball players like Naz Long, Myck Kabongo, Kris Joseph and Devoe Joseph (@ 41 seconds) have made appearance in his music videos.


John River will hit the hardwood at the #NPHPlatform on December 26th for a live performance at halftime of the Upperclassmen game.

On a basketball note, regarding the NPH Platform, River says, “It gives opportunity to people who would not have had opportunity before…if you don’t support that you don’t support growth in the city.”


George Papadakos – Evolution of Canadian Basketball


George Papadakos will be a special guest speak at #NPHPlatform
George Papadakos will be a special guest speak at #NPHPlatform

George Papadakos was introduced to the North Pole Hoops viewership two months ago, and since then the seven-footer has provided insight as an NPH analyst, sharing his experiences through the game of basketball.

A St Mike’s graduate out of Toronto, Papadakos played for two NCAA powerhouse programs in Michigan State and Syracuse. Following college, he enjoyed at 10-year pro career in Greece with Euroleague power Olympiakos.

After 25 years outside of the country, Papadakos is back in Canada with his family, working to give back to the game.

“No matter who we are, everyone in that room shares one thing in common, the love for basketball. I’m going to try and pass that love over to everyone that will be at the NPH Platform.”

Papadakos will be gracing us with his presence at the #NPHPlatform to discuss the evolution of Canadian basketball from his days as a high school player to the current time, as he sees it.

“If I can influence people in a positive way, that is a great feeling.”






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