Kadre Gray: U Sports Player of the Year
by Randy Pascal
A season-ending injury that kept Kadre Gray from competing with his Laurentian Voyageur teammates in post-season play was not the way the ultra-talented
basketball star wanted to end the year.
Even moreso, given that the bulk of the 2017-2018 campaign went very much the way that Gray would have liked to envision it some time last summer.
The U Sports Rookie of the Year from one year ago capped off a tremendous sophomore season by capturing the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy,
awarded to the Canadian university basketball "Player of the Year".
A 6'1" guard who hails from Toronto, Gray led the OUA in scoring and was second in the nation, averaging 24.4 points per game. Also recognized as a
U Sports all-Canadian first team all-star, the Health Promotion major became only the second Laurentian athlete ever to receive the Moser award, with
Charlie Wise breaking the ice back in 1977-78.
Additionally, it had been nearly twenty years since the blue and gold could boast of a men's basketball national first team all-star, with Ted
Dongelmans achieving the feat during the 1999-2000 school year.
"Kadre's work ethic is second to none," noted Voyageur head coach Shawn Swords. "This off-season, his mindset was to improve in every aspect of
the game and encourage the team to do this as well. The results were amazing to witness."
Led by their prolific scoring sensation, the Laurentian men enjoyed easily their best overall campaign in several years, climbing as high as 5th in the
national rankings, and racking up victories against opponents with whom success has been fleeting.
To appreciate the depth of the talent that is Kadre Gray, one has to look no further than the three triple doubles he posted this season (a game
in which a player reaches double digits in points, assists and rebounds). What makes this achievement so special is the fact that the OUA had not seen even
a singular instance of a triple double being recorded since November of 2013.
Gray topped the 25 point plateau on ten different occasions this year, and recorded a league single game high of 14 assists on two different instances.
"This award shows that anyone is capable of doing what seems impossible," said Gray in a university issued release.
"If you have a goal, set your mind to it, work towards it every day, and most importantly, never forget it." In the meantime, Gray and his teammates
continue the off-season work with an aim to move the Laurentian program that much closer to their goal of attending a national championship.