One seven-letter word has been at the forefront of Deluxshan Pathmanathan’s life from the start.
Whether it be through Basketball or his relationship, the word support has been a main constant that has shaped Deluxshan’s pathway through life.
His basketball coaching career has spanned over a decade, dating back to his high school days. In life, his relationship with Nikila, who is now his wife of three years, has spanned a total of 12 years - the foundation of both?
It was at an early age that Pathmanathan knew playing basketball wasn’t going to be the be-all end-all for him in his life. He made the move to coaching when he was in high school, and that one decision at an early age sent him down the pathway that ultimately led him to his current position of Assistant Coach with the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks.
When he was in the 11th grade, Pathmanathan made the decision to transition from player to coach. He worked with the Senior Girls Varsity and Junior Boys Varsity teams, kick-starting his coaching career that has seen him take on several stops along the way.
His coaching career has taken him to the high school level, the college level, the university level, and even the International level. Pathmanathan was given the opportunity to coach for his home country of Sri Lanka at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina back in 2018. He helped guide the U18 Sri Lankan Women’s Team to their first International win at the event.
Once again, the concept of support was prevalent during the Youth Olympic Games. Pathmanathan had the support of his friends, family, and Motherland at his back as he was given the opportunity of a lifetime to represent his home country.
Fast-forward to the present day, and Pathmanathan is a member of the coaching staff for the Men’s Basketball program with the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks. After serving as an Assistant Coach with the Durham College Lords, who share a campus with the Ridgebacks, Pathmanathan made the move to the Ridgebacks staff in their inaugural season.
He had the support of his staff, both past and present alike, which made the move a seamless transition for all parties involved. All of that support is reciprocated, as Pathmanathan is quick to support his fellow coaches and the players on his team, as he aims to help shape them into fantastic student-athletes, both on and off the floor.
From his time growing up in Toronto, playing basketball with his friends for hours on end in the streets during the summer months to the first time he drew up a play out of a timeout with the game on the line to win at the buzzer, and everything in between, Pathmanathan has had an endless amount of support behind him. All of that support has pushed him to where he is now, and where he’s headed.
The concept of support goes both ways in Deluxshan’s story, both in basketball and in life away from the game.
The year was 2008.
Little did he know it at the time, but Pathmanathan would end up meeting the love of his life who turned out to be his biggest supporter of them all.
Pathmanathan met Nikila when they were both teenagers. It was her personality that had him hooked from the start.
As they say, the rest is history.
The two have been together ever since, growing from teenagers to lifelong partners, all while supporting one another.
After nearly 9 years of dating the pair decided to make the leap and upgrade their status from dating to married.
The journey to the wedding was filled with its share of ups and downs, as is any couple’s journey. But, the key to their successful relationship and ultimate marriage was the same constant theme from Deluxshan’s basketball journey.
When asked about their relationship, Pathmanathan was quick to point out that support has been their constant. They help each other through the good times and the bad, and that’s all you can ask in a partner.
Much like most when they were growing up, Pathmanathan wanted to be a Police Officer. The training is rigorous, and one of the mandatory training exercises is the shuttle run (beep test). In a true testament to their support for one another, Nikila took it to the next level.
She completed the shuttle run for two months alongside Deluxshan, often helped shovel snow in the driveway in the winter so they could both train outside. The pair did everything they could to put Deluxshan in the best position to be successful, and they did it together while supporting one another.
When Deluxshan’s aspirations of becoming a Police Officer took a detour, Nikila’s support never wavered. Being a Police Officer, meant long hours and shift work and would mean coaching at the university level would not work, there came a point where Deluxshan had to decide if he wanted to continue coaching or give it up to become a Police Officer – the decision was tough but after weighing out all the options – coaching prevailed.
After he made the decision to move into coaching, there was Nikila right there in his corner, supportive of every move that he made. With lengthy road trips taking him away for a few days at a time, late-night practices and film sessions, Nikila was always there in his corner.
As much support that Nikila has showed for Deluxshan over the years, the same amount came back the other way just as quick.
When asked about how his relationship has grown over the years, Pathmanathan had this to say about his wife.
“It’s been an honor to see her grow from a 17-year-old teenager to a grown woman who holds a Senior Management position in Human Resources and owns her own children’s apparel line (Koko’s Closet) and Event Planning (Bumblebee Event Boutique) business all while raising our 8th month old, Kobe,” said Pathmanathan.
Add in the fact that she’s a tremendous mother, and the love, admiration, and appreciation that Pathmanathan has for Nikila is endless and knows no bounds.
Owning a business is never an easy thing to do. Much like coaching, the job tends to have long hours, ones that often see one working later into the night than most. With events and meetings all throughout the week, schedules often change and that requires flexibility on both sides of the relationship to make it successful. Pathmanathan also holds a management position during the day like his wife, all while managing the crazy schedule of a university basketball season.
Deluxshan’s support has never wavered, and both are flourishing in their roles because of their support for one another.
Above all else, Deluxshan and Nikila are friends first. Open conversations happen without hesitation. Their friendship allows them to have the difficult conversations, all while knowing that they have each other’s back regardless of the outcome. They are each other’s biggest supporter and critic, simultaneously, in everything they do.
The combination of friendship and never-ending support has been the foundation that they built their relationship on, one that is strong enough to weather any storm that life may throw at them.
Fast forward to 2020, and the combination of Love and Basketball have come full circle for Deluxshan and Nikila.
This past October, the couple welcomed their first child into the world. A son, Deluxshan brought his love for basketball and his family together with his name.
The name pays homage to Deluxshan’s favorite player, the late Kobe Bryant. It was Bryant’s resilience, mental toughness, and discipline that appealed to Pathmanathan the most, and all three are values that he hopes to instill in his son as he grows up. Those same values ring true to Pathmanathan, whether it’s when he’s teaching his son Kobe to high-five or when holding his own players accountable for their actions.
Basketball, love, and now family are all intertwined in the Pathmanathan family of three.
They have celebrated their successes together, and they’ve endured hardships together, all of which have only strengthened their bond with one another over their 12-year relationship.
Looking back at their journey through life together, they can trace everything back to a simple, seven-letter word that was their constant from day one.
The couple have recently started their own family Instagram page @theehometeam, feel free to follow and shoot them a message.
Photo taken by Lucky in Life Photography (IG:luckyinlifephotography)
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