The uOttawa men’s basketball program has commitments from two new exciting players for the 2016-17 season: high school recruit Ryan Basso of Timmins, Ont., and Ottawa native Jean Pierre-Charles who will transfer from the Carleton Ravens after three seasons there.
“Both of these players give us a tremendous amount of athleticism and versatility,” said Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin. “Their commitments allow us to maintain a very high level of players on the floor next season."
The addition of Pierre-Charles had been pending since the 6-foot-8 forward announced his intention to transfer in the fall. The decision was finalized this week, with the fourth-year student transferring into the Faculty of Engineering.
“I looked at every little thing that could potentially affect how I could be happy not only in basketball but also life-wise,” said Pierre-Charles. “And I believe that if the coaches believe in me as much as I believe in myself, everything will be ok. Coach Derouin showed that from the start, and made it clear that coming in as a fourth-year I won’t have to start over. I can be a leader for this team. I already feel so welcome and I am excited to get started.”
“You only have to go into the gym and see him to be excited because he can do a lot of really great things on the court. We already know what he can do defensively but what we will try to do is show the world what he can do offensively – it will be fun for the fans to watch. He’s a great fit for uOttawa and we’re thrilled that he chose our team."
After playing high school basketball for Ashbury College, Pierre-Charles earned court time during his first CIS season, developing into a dynamic two-way player. In 2014-15, he averaged 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 points over 21 minutes per game. He has not appeared for the Ravens this season and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Ryan Basso is a 6-foot-2 combo guard out of O’Gorman High School. He has been on the radar since representing Northern Ontario at the Ontario Summer Games in 2012 at the U16 level, and Derouin met Basso while conducting summer basketball clinics in Timmins.
“I enjoyed [Derouin’s] style of play and realized that I may be a good fit for the team,” says Basso, who describes his club and school teams as ones that play up-tempo and encourage taking the open shots. “I'm looking forward to becoming a better student of the game and learning under Coach Derouin and his staff. I'm honoured to have the opportunity to play for such a great nationally ranked program.”
Basso is a member of the successful Timmins Selects club system where he has shown off his three-point shooting and scoring abilities which also propelled the O’Gorman Knights to back-to-back OFSAA “A” silver medals.
“His overall raw speed is pretty incredible to watch,” says Derouin. “You could see the potential right away and as he has added to his game his athleticism and first step quickness is jaw-dropping. He is very smooth and his shooting is at a high level as well. We’re excited to see him develop at the next level."
The no. 1 ranked Gee-Gees (7-0 regular season, 17-2 overall) continue the 2015-16 season on January 16 when the Bytown Battle against Carleton will take place at the Raven’s Nest. Tip off is scheduled for 8:07 p.m., with live coverage on Rogers Cable 22 and OUA.tv. Tickets for the event are sold out.