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Basketball co-captain trades ball for bench

Photo credit: Marta Keirkus

With his basketball — playing days now over, Gee-Gees star Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue is prepared to start a new chapter.

As he prepares for graduation, the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) second team all-star is going to be putting his degree in human kinetics to work as a strength and conditioning coach for the Canadian Strength Institute.

Over his five-year career at the University of Ottawa, Gonthier-Dubue transformed from a young player to the vocal leader and physical anchor of one of the nation’s top teams. He said he’s not only proud of his athletic accomplishments, but also what he was able to master off the court.

“The first thing is that I’ve learned another language,” said Gonthier-Dubue, a French-speaking native of Gatineau. “Now I am bilingual and that’s the reason I got the job I have today.”

A hectic lifestyle of juggling school and sport was key for preparing him for life and work after school.

“It takes a lot as a student-athlete to manage schoolwork and practices. You have to be on point with everything,” he said. “The things I had to do to get those done in appropriate time allows you know how to deal with those experiences in life in general.”

This season, Gonthier-Dubue averaged 10.7 points per game for the Gee-Gees and was eighth in the nation in field goal percentage at 58.3.

Despite not finding his own opportunities to go pro, he said he’s proud to see the U of O have strong representation in professional leagues across the world. The next generation of players on the team have better chances than ever to follow in the footsteps of players like Warren Ward and Terry Thomas, he said.

“I am very happy for Johnny (Berhanemeskel). He has talked to me about the process and I’m sure he is going to sign with an agent and I hope he finds a good organization for him to expose his talent and be successful.”

With his career now at a close and another door opened, Gonthier-Dubue’s connection with the basketball program does not stop here. His eyes are still fixed on next season as he plans to stay connected with the team in the future.

Gonthier-Dubue also plans on coaching next year, and working with the new group of Gee-Gees to prepare them to win a national championship.