Anyone who was in attendance for a men’s basketball game this season got treated to some fun during lineup announcements. As the names of the starting lineup were announced, typically over Drake’s “Started From the Bottom” or “Trophies,” the men would go through the tunnel of players and form into a huddle where one player would show off their dance moves in the middle.
Rookie Vickie Lemire had a ridiculous season this year. She did not always light up the stats sheet, but her presence was always a driving force on the team. She was awarded the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) league Rookie of the Year award, and was the first Gee-Gee player to win the honour since 2001.
Coaches of the year
This award goes to two coaches: head coach Dave Heinbuch and head coach James Derouin. Both men had outstanding seasons at the helm of their respective teams. Heinbuch was named Gee-Gees head coach in 2012, and he brought passion, energy, and experience to all the meets and practices this year. He is greatly respected by the Gee-Gee swimmers. Derouin completed his fourth year manning the sidelines for the Gee-Gees with a CIS silver medal and the second-best record in the league. These two coaches are premium examples of the amazing coaches that lead our Gee-Gees.
Men’s basketball’s Terry Thomas is the uncontested victor of this award. This Gee-Gee joined the line-up Jan. 25, two weeks prior to when his name was placed in the University of Ottawa’s history books. Thomas scored 44 points, shooting 68 per cent from the field to break the record for most points in a game. To say this game was enjoyable to watch would be an understatement. With his knockdown shooting and highflying dunks, this game was hands down a fan favourite.
Men’s track and field star and MVP Sekou Kaba returned to the Gee-Gees roster after an injury absence in 2013 and won his second Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) crown in the 60-metre hurdles. He achieved under the eight-second barrier eight times this season and broke the school record on four separate occasions. Kaba was undefeated in Canadian competition, except for his second-place finish at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships. At the CIS Championships, he set a new record with 7.79 seconds, breaking a record established 30 years ago by Olympian Mark McKoy.
Berhanemeskel was the emotional leader of the second-best basketball team in the country, he broke the Gee-Gees and OUA record for most three-pointers in a season, and was top 10 in the nation in an unbelievable seven statistical categories. The coaches trusted him in the clutch, and it paid off most with the shot that clinched the Wilson Cup. This season, the man that we lovingly refer to as “Johnny B” cemented his legacy as one of the best players to ever don a Gee-Gees uniform.
On Jan. 29, the women’s volleyball team derailed the Lakehead Thunderwolves quickly with three quick sets of 25 to 16, 25 to 15, and 25 to 16. The Gee-Gees hit 16 services aces, four of which were made by Kelsie English. The ladies finished the game off with Kira Tome, Alix Durivage, and Veronique Caya recording four aces in the final 10 points of the game. The team’s 3.31 service aces-per-set averages the top in the CIS by more than one ace per set.
In the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Wilson Cup final game, the Gee-Gees men’s basketball team was pitted against their rival, the Carleton Ravens, who were undefeated until that point. With mere seconds on the clock, Johnny Berhanemeskel drained a shot that would lead the Gee-Gees to their first Wilson Cup win since 1993.
Photos by Marc Jan, Richard Whittaker, Robert Antoniuk, Tina Wallace, and Winston Chow