The Gee-Gees men’s basketball team gained its newest addition for 2015 with the commitment of 6-foot-6 wing Ethan Degazio over the weekend.
The smooth-shooting native of Welland, Ont. whose Notre Dame College School squad dominated tournaments in the Niagara area during his grade twelve season and earned national rankings online, will join fellow newcomers Brody Maracle and Nathan McCarthy in garnet and grey next season.
“How Ottawa plays is so unique,” said Degazio after his commitment was finalized. “The reputation is that it’s a bunch of people who buy in and play their role.”
“I learned during my high school career that I could separate myself with my shooting - I know that I can shoot with anyone. I can shoot freely and confidently and make a lot of shots,” says Degazio. “Long shots,” he adds, and his YouTube highlight tapes back him up.
All that shooting makes Degazio a clear fit in James Derouin’s Ottawa three-point barrage. The Gee-Gees sank over 12 treys per game last season to lead the country.
“Ethan is a great fit for our program,” says Derouin. “He is a high IQ player with great size and he is one of the top outside shooters in this year’s class. With our young core of Brandon [Robinson], Mackenzie [Morrison], Ethan and Brody [Maracle], we feel like we have a very talented group moving forward with the program.”
"Ethan is one of the elite shooters with size in the country," adds basketball scout Barry Hayes. "He works well in a system, using his strong passing ability and finding the right spots on the court where his team can be most dangerous."
Degazio played on Notre Dame’s senior team during his grade ten high school season, and went to OFSAA under AAAA the following year, which is when the recruiters started to pay attention. He was named the Most Valuable Player at the venerable Tribune Tournament during grade eleven and would repeat in 2014.
Also gaining experience with the Welland Warriors club circuit, Degazio and the Fighting Irish put together a 36-2 campaign and hosted AAA OFSAA during his grade twelve season. This season, an injury kept the recruit sidelined while he pondered his post-secondary options. At uOttawa he plans to study Political Science.
“I learned a lot from my grade ten and eleven years,” Degazio recounts. “My attitude towards playing changed, and I learned to practice hard and put in the work. I had three seasons of being the guy that everyone looked to shoot it.”