Sports

Borys Minger is a third-year guard on the Gee-Gees men’s basketball team. Photo: Rame Abdulkader/The Fulcrum

Minger on his decision to play basketball and study at the U of O

The University of Ottawa is home to over 42,000 students, with more than 7,000 students coming to Ottawa from outside of Canada. Around 700 U of O students represent the Gee-Gees on varsity and competitive club teams. 

Each and every student has lived their own journey before becoming a Gee-Gee and continues to strive for different goals. 

For Borys Minger, a third-year finance student and guard on the men’s basketball team, his journey involved moving from his hometown on the coast of South America to Canada with hopes of playing high-level basketball.

Growing up in Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana, Minger knew that he wanted to move away from his hometown in order to make his dreams a reality.

“I always wanted to play sports at a high level so I’ve always known that I would have to leave my hometown at some point,” Minger explained. 

Soon enough, the opportunity he was waiting for presented itself when Minger was 16 years old. He was asked to join a basketball academy in Canada, something he knew he wanted to do. 

Minger made the move from Cayenne to Alma, a small town in Quebec. There, he played on the high school team at Alma Academy before moving on to Cegep de Thetford. 

“I learned a lot,” Minger said about his time in Thetford. “In my last year at Thetford, I started getting recruited by the U of O. I started talking to coaches and it all happened pretty quickly honestly.” 

Heading to Ottawa to join the Gees, Minger had to transition to a new province, city, a university course load, and university level basketball. 

“Coming to the university level in any sport from wherever your from, it’s probably going to be a higher level,” said Minger “You’re going to have to humble yourself at some point. For some, it might be taking on a smaller role, maybe just being more aware of your weaknesses.” 

“It could be very painful, or you can be open-minded and humble yourself before someone humbles you.”

As a first-year guard, Minger did not get a whole lot of playtime throughout the 2017-18 season, averaging only four minutes per game and nine points on the season.

Regardless, Minger continued to train hard alongside his teammates in order to earn his spot on the court. 

This year, Minger’s work has paid off and he has become a regular face for the Gee-Gees. Now, 15 games into the season, Minger currently averages 24.1 minutes per game, while contributing points in nearly every matchup. 

“The guys are there and supportive when I was not playing and they were pushing me to stay with it,” said Minger, giving credit to his teammates and coaches. “They still mentor me and guide me through the new challenges that come with playing more minutes.” 

“We all get along well on our team and the coaching staff has our best interests in mind.” 

With Capital Hoops, the playoffs, and USports Final 8 on the horizon, the Gees will be playing in front of some bigger crowds. Now that he is becoming a key player in the GeeGees lineup, Minger is eager to play in these major games. 

“It’s very exciting, and it’s a great opportunity for anyone who likes to play basketball,” said Minger. 

Eventually, Minger hopes to play basketball at a professional level, but his focus is not only on the sport. He is working towards a degree in finance and is considering continuing his studies by entering a master’s program after graduating.

“Where I’m from, the system doesn’t associate sports and school, so the fact that I have the opportunity to do both at a high level is important to me,” said Minger. “I always want to make sure that I take care of both.”

From moving and adjusting to a new country and becoming a USports athlete, Minger’s journey has led him to many great and significant moments. Of course, seeing success in sports and academics is a great feeling, but it has not come without struggles, he said. 

Even through the tougher moments, Minger has never considered giving up as he continues to work on his game, school, and life. 

“I always believe that I am here for a reason, even when things are difficult I never doubt the fact that I am in the right place.”

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