The Gee-Gees travelled to École secondaire publique Louis-Riel on Friday to play in the first ever Garnet and Grey game.
Faced with reduced court time at uOttawa this weekend due to a volleyball tournament, head coach James Derouin immediately got to work. “This is an idea I've had for a long time, so I called André [the athletic director at Louis Riel] and he said, 'Let's do it.' From there, it was really simple.”
This is the way it worked - the Gee-Gees travelled to Louis-Riel where students were released from class early and the then, split into two teams of players and coaches, competed a game against themselves. In the process, gaining extra game experience for their team, but above all, showcasing the university-level sport and bilingual university opportunities for a sports-oriented francophone high school brimming with athletes.
"The relation between Louis Riel high school and the University of Ottawa is pretty obvious: a bilingual university and a French high school that has a sport-études [sports studies] program,” said Derouin.
As grade 11 student and basketball player Catherine expressed, “It’s really good basketball at uOttawa, well-organized and with good coaches. It’s great to see you can combine basketball and education at a good school.”
"That's part of what we want to do here; we want to reach out to schools so that they look at our players and say 'I want to be that one day',” says Derouin.
Grade 10 student and hockey player Matt said, “It’s really cool to have a university team play. [As a basketball player] It’d be good to see what skill set you have to have to be in these guys’ position.”
Today’s game was a huge success, in Derouin’s opinion, and he looks forward to making this an annual event, perhaps involving both French and English schools in the future.
"The garnet versus grey game has a lot of potential. I think it was a great experience, I thought the crowd was great and the energy was really good. I'm very happy."