Sports

EVERY CASUAL FAN knows things like coaching, weight training, talent, and strategy are important factors in building a championship sports team, but one crucial ingredient is often overlooked: Recruiting. This week, the Fulcrum spoke to the Gees’ men’s basketball team’s two newest members about their games and the recruiting process.

Cruising to the Garnet and Grey
First up was Caleb Agada, from Burlington, Ont. Last year Agada played for the Westmount Secondary School Crusaders. For the 2012–13 season, he’ll be playing combination guard for the Gees and will be studying math.

The Fulcrum: Can you describe your recruiting process?
Agada: At Ottawa, [head coach James Derouin] got a hold of me and started talking to me. He came to watch me play and had me come for a recruiting trip. I enjoyed it and got feeling comfortable with [Derouin]. I knew he had my best interests at heart from the get-go.

What particular skills do you think you’re going to bring to the Gees’ basketball team?
I don’t think I’m the best at anything on the team, because I think I’m going to come in as a rookie and I’m going to learn and hopefully find something that I’m really good at. Right now I’m just trying to bring intensity and bring energy to the team.

Alternately, what are the things you’re hoping to improve over the summer?
I need to get bigger. I need to get my body in shape to get ready for university, because it’s not the same as high school. I need to work on ball-handling, shooting—everything. I feel that if I keep working hard I’ll get better.

Is there a professional basketball player you model your game after?
Dwayne Wade. I was always trying to play like him—slash to the basket and get buckets. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and he’s one of the players who I strive to be like when I get on the court.

Shooting towards college ball
Next up was Moe Ismail, from Hamilton, Ont. Ismail played shooting guard for the Sherwood Secondary School Saints, and will be studying social sciences in the fall.

The Fulcrum: Can you describe your recruiting process?
Ismail: The first time the University of Ottawa saw me was at the Pinky Lewis Tournament at McMaster in Hamilton. [U of O assistant coach Emil] O’Neil came and watched my game … [Derouin] came and watched me a month later at the Chancellor Tournament in Hamilton. Then they began to recruit me heavily, they came to a couple more tournaments and games. I came on a visit the last weekend in January and up to that point … I wasn’t heavily interested because I didn’t know much about the school. But when I came to visit, I had a full understanding of what I’d be getting.

What particular skills do you think you’re going to bring to the Gees’ basketball team?
No matter the situation, I’m always supporting my teammates. I never look down on anyone or bring any negativity to the table. Also, I’m going to be another threat on the wing. I can shoot the ball from the three, or I can shoot off the dribble. I can score in several ways.

Alternately, what are the things you’re hoping to improve over the summer?
I need to put a little muscle on, and that’s going to help me finish around the basket. Also, defensively I want to become more of a lock down defender.

Is there any professional basketball player you try to model your game after?
Kevin Durant. I’m not as tall as he is,—he’s 6’10”—but we have a similar body. We’re both very long, and the way he utilizes his length to score is something that I find intriguing.

Both Ismail and Agada will begin training with the Gees over the summer and will hit the court in the fall.

—Keeton Wilcock