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Amir Ali (right) is going from the basketball court to fighting COVID on the front lines in a hospital

Bison athlete trading sports gear for scrubs

April 7, 2020 — 

UM Bison basketball start Amir Ali played for the Brown and Gold, and then deferred entering medical school by one year so he could play one final year of basketball. Like many med students, he volunteered at a COVID-19 clinic and looked forward to putting his medical training into practice. And he will, in a big way. He will “virtually” graduate this spring and is moving on to take up medical residency at the University of Toronto, in one of Canada’s regions hardest-hit by the pandemic.

Winnipeg Free Press reporter Mike Sawatsky featured Ali in a story detailing Ali’s athletic career from his time at St. Paul’s High School to his time on the Bisons.

U of M head coach Kirby Schepp said of Ali:

“I can’t think of anyone who’s more equipped to handle pressure and adversity than him,” said Schepp. “I just can’t think of anyone I know who just thrives in those situations. He’s just so strong and tough mentally and works incredibly hard. Yeah, he’s a superstar, no doubt about it.”

Ali is ready for the challenge.

“Based on where we are today Toronto has a lot more cases than Winnipeg is seeing and it’s an international flight hub, there’s a lot more people in close proximity so the potential for it to grow at an exponential rate is much higher,” said Ali. “On top of that, being in the emergency department where you’re at the front line and you’re unsure about what’s going to come through the front door…”

Read the entire Winnipeg Free Press story here.


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