Gee-Gee praised for his consistent play, strong shooting

Jean-Emmanuel Pierre-Charles, a fifth-year social sciences student and a forward on the Gee-Gees basketball team, was named to the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) second all-star team last week.

The OUA praised Pierre-Charles for his consistent play, noting his 13 points and 8.9 rebounds per game averages, with his rebounding putting him fifth overall in the OUA. He was also recognized for his strong shooting, with his 59 per cent accuracy from the field enough to earn him fourth in his conference.

Pierre-Charles said that being a well-rounded player is an important part of his game.

“I always took pride in playing both sides of the floor defensively and offensively, and to be recognized for doing that, that’s pretty cool,” he said. “That’s what I’ve based my game around, being able to affect all aspects of the game.”

“The coaching staff, my teammates, everybody putting me in a position where I can succeed, and then me just trusting myself and having the confidence that what I do, and doing that night in night out, hopefully you get recognized but if you don’t you keep grinding.”

Pierre-Charles touched on several successes this year. “Obviously I got recognized individually. And just my presence on court, people kind of know who I am.”

He added that in his final year, his driving motivation was making sure the team did well as a whole.

“This year I really just wanted to focus on getting the team wins, I didn’t really take an individual aspect as much as my fourth year,” he said. “Ironically, when you do focus on what helps the team work, you play better individually… it goes hand in hand.”

Despite strong performances all year and accolades from the OUA, Pierre-Charles’ final season did see some hurdles to overcome, as he missed several games due to injury in the middle of the season.

“The challenge was being hurt, and playing through injuries, and coming back a little sooner since it’s my fifth year and I didn’t want that to go to waste,” he said.

“I got injured more than I usually do, so it was tough playing with injuries,” he added. “But I think I did the role the team needed me to do. It’s always fun being a leader on a team as well… I had a lot of fun this year for sure.”

Pierre-Charles said that over his time as a Gee-Gee, he’s become comfortable in a leadership role.

“(In) your fifth year you put all the pieces together, and you can lead other guys and you can tell them what you’ve been through. It’s cool when it pays off for the young guys,” he said.

Pierre-Charles said the best part of his final year was working with his teammates.

“Just the comradery, I mean the long bus trips, and guys joking around, that kind of stuff,” he said. But also when we can look at a teammate’s eyes and know that you’re going to go to war with him, I think I’m going to miss that the most.”

“There were a lot of good times during this year, I think we really had a brotherhood, and that’s why we wanted to go deeper into nationals, because a lot of guys cared about each other on this team.”

While his time with the Garnet and Grey may be over, Pierre-Charles isn’t done with basketball yet. He’s currently looking into where he’s going to play next.

“(My plan is) hopefully line up some agents, try to go pro, see where I could play, what options are there for me, how long I could play, it’s an exciting process,” he said. “Take it day by day and see what’s out there, but I definitely want to keep playing, that’s for sure. “