Scoring a goal for Canada in last winter’s World Junior Championship was a big deal for Detroit Red Wings prospect and Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Donovan Sebrango. That it led to an interview of his mother Kim Sebrango on national television across Canada left Sebrango pondering which of the two events was the bigger deal.
“I hadn’t scored a goal in a while, so that was definitely a good feeling,” Sebrango recalled. “But to see her do that interview was definitely a close feeling to scoring that goal.
Captains for #WorldJuniors… 🇨🇦
Hear from Captain Canada! 🗣️👇 pic.twitter.com/OXvrPsNRmj
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) August 2, 2022
“It’s good for her to get some recognition, because she deserves it more than I do.”
Sebrango is back with Canada at the world juniors. Postponed in December by a COVID-19 outbreak, they are getting ready for a do-over. The tournament is taking place Aug. 9-20 in Edmonton. Sebrango is serving as one of Canada’s alternate captains.
Every Day Is Mother’s Day For Sebrango
There are a number of players in the Red Wings system who are the sons of NHLers. Chase Pearson (Scott), Kienan Draper (Kris), Red Savage (Brian) and Kyle Aucoin (Adrian) are part of these father-son relationships.
In Sebrango’s case, when he gives thanks for parental guidance leading him to where he is today, mom’s the word.
“She had to be both a mom and a dad for me growing up,” Sebrango said of his mother. “As a single parent, it definitely isn’t easy, especially with the trouble making kid I was.”
On social media, Kim Sebrango is Donovan’s biggest fan.
Keep working hard Donovan! Let’s go 🇨🇦 https://t.co/cmfzhxjIuE
— Kim Sebrango (@Sebrango_9) June 22, 2022
“Getting her support and seeing how she supports me on social media, it’s great,” Sebrango said. “It makes you realize what you’re working for and why you want it so bad.
“She just motivates me every day. It’s what I use as motivation to come to the rink every day and get better and achieve my goal of making it to the NHL.”
Sebrango Already A Third-Year Pro
Sebrango, 20, figures to be entering his third season with the AHL Griffins in the fall. The cancelation of the 2020-21 OHL season, also due to COVID-19, enabled him to turn pro earlier than he would have under normal circumstances.
“It’s a gritty type of hockey with skill,” Sebrango said of the AHL. “You’v got good enough guys to be in the NHL. Just circumstances going on that they’re down here. You’ve got NHL-ready players and you’ve got your fourth-line big guys that are willing to go through you to get the puck.
“You have to be ready for anything out there. It keeps you on your toes.”