After spending four years at Cape Breton University, Kenny Jean-Louis is ready to take the final step in his collegiate career.
Gee-Gees head coach James Derouin originally recruited Jean-Louis back in 2012-13, however the Montreal native decided to head to the east coast.
Last season, Jean-Louis was a bright spot for Capers, leading the team in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. His impressive per game averages were to the tune of 19.9 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.1 steals.
Despite Jean-Louis’ contributions, his team struggled immensely though a rebuilding effort, going 0-20 on the season. After finishing his Bachelor’s degree, Jean-Louis is now tackling his Master’s in Education and taking care of unfinished business on the court.
“The prospect of him getting a chance to win some games and show that he’s a winner is something that we can provide for him. That chip on his shoulder and excitement is something we can use moving forward,” said Derouin.
Along with versatility and playmaking ability, Jean-Louis’ leadership is something that will be an immediate impact on the team. Having spent significant time off-court and teaching in the classroom, Jean-Louis’ experience sets him apart from other fifth-year players.
“Becoming a teacher, and through basketball I've learned a lot about how to deal with different types of people,” said Jean-Louis. “In the classroom setting, you have different types of students, and on a team you have teammates with unique personalities. Finding a way to communicate and work with all types of people is definitely a skill I’ve acquired from both teaching and basketball.”
From a coach’s point-of-view, this kind of thinking is exactly in-line with what Derouin wants from his players.
“It’s those unique qualities that we love about Kenny,” he said. “It’s great the fact that he thinks about things like that. Using his skills as a teacher to help our team win, and help our young guys be better people on and off the court. You’d like to add 15 of those guys if you can.”
Jean-Louis used the perspective of a true student-athlete to make his decision to join the Gee-Gees.
“The culture on-and-off the court is great at uOttawa,” he said. “I got great feedback on the team and on the program that I'm taking. When I visited the campus this summer, the coaches and players were very welcoming and I had a good time. All the great feedback confirmed that this school is really a good fit for me.”
Another essential decision-maker for Jean-Louis was the University’’s proximity to his hometown.
“After spending four years away from my family, the idea of them being able to watch me play university ball for the last time was great.”
Jean-Louis notes there are differences between play in AUS and OUA that will take some getting used to, but he’s ready for the challenge as he closes his university career.
As a graduate transfer, Jean-Louis is eligible to play immediately. He will make his Gee-Gees debut on Thursday night at Montpetit Hall against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m., with tickets available at tickets.geegees.ca and webcast live on OUA.tv