Creating an Athlete

By Natalie A. Trout
Director of Marketing & Communications

Chris Diwis ‘21 is a well-known name at Canterbury School, and not just because he’s been a student at Canterbury since Kindergarten. Besides playing on the basketball team for four years, one of Chris’ photography projects won honorable mention in the Scholastic Art Competition his senior year. Even more impressive, Diwis wrote an essay that received both local and national recognition. He’s also got a heart of gold, making sure to thank both his parents for their love and support. From competing in chess tournaments, to playing basketball, to being a part of the African Culture Club and Black Student Union, Diwis embodies Canterbury’s “Artist, Athlete, Scholar” motto.

Why is “Artist, Athlete, Scholar,” a good tagline for Canterbury School and the opportunities here?

Chris Diwis (CD): Everyone has their own talents. Canterbury wants everyone to explore and not just focus on one thing. For me, I had always identified myself with basketball, but once I got to high school, I was able to explore different activities I’d never even felt like doing before. I think being able to diversify what you experience is important, and you can do that here at Canterbury.

In what ways do you see yourself as an artist at Canterbury School?

CD: When I was younger I loved to draw, and part of that carried over into some of the artistic things I do now. I enjoy photography. I received honorable mention in the Scholastic Art Awards for one of my photography projects. I took three photographs I had taken in New York and put them together into one piece.

Tell me about a coach at Canterbury who has inspired you or helped you.

CD: Coach Rob Westfall has always been by my side, especially when things weren’t going our way this season. He’s always reaching out to me. He sent me a text when he heard I got accepted into IU, and that meant a lot to me.

In what ways do you see yourself as an athlete?

CD: I play basketball, and I love the game. I always take what I learn in basketball and apply it to life. I’ve learned a lot from my teammates and my coaches over the years.

In what ways do you see yourself as a scholar?

CD: Canterbury emphasizes academics as a part of the experience here. I stretched myself by taking some challenging classes, like AP courses. I didn’t see myself as someone who could take an AP class, but my teachers encouraged me. I was able to push myself.

What are some of your favorite Canterbury memories?

CD: Being with my teammates in the locker room was always fun. A group of us would stay in the Mastodon hallway and hang out there. Soccer games were always fun, too.

How has Canterbury School prepared you for college?

CD: Canterbury has provided me with the work ethic that I’ll need to succeed in college. Just being organized with balancing everything. With “artist, athlete, scholar,” they want you to be involved in a lot of activities, and you have to learn to prioritize and balance. That’s how Canterbury has prepared me the best.

What are your plans after graduation?

CD: Go to IU and study psychology.

Finish this sentence: I’m grateful for my experience at Canterbury School because...

CD: I’m grateful for Canterbury because of the amazing people I’ve met throughout my 12 years here.

The Void of Black Men:
A Response to Brent Staples “Black Men and Public Space”

Chris Diwis’ Personal Essay & Memoir entry into the Scholastic Writing Awards earned him a Gold Key, a National Gold Medal, and a National American Voices Medal, one of only 47 in the United States.

Diwis’ essay also earned him the 2021 Social Justice Advocacy Award in Fort Wayne.

“There is no greater reward for a writing instructor than to see a student live their truth and find their voice,” says Canterbury English teacher David Todoran. “For Chris, the essay ‘Black Men in Public Spaces’ by Brent Staples was the spark that ignited Chris’ passion for telling his own story. Other than getting the right mentor text in front of him at the right time, my role was simply coaching him in fine tuning an already powerful piece of writing.”