Basketball: From two years-old to infinity

Geoffrey Lavoie, a second-year basketball player at St. Thomas University, was named the ACAA athlete of the week on Nov. 13 after a 30-point performance against the Crandall University Chargers.

He said he couldn’t have done it without his team.

“I wouldn’t have had these mentions if the whole team didn’t play well. If we wouldn’t have won, I wouldn’t have gotten that award … It was a proud feeling,” Lavoie said.

Lavoie is the second Tommie to be named ACAA athlete of the week this season. Tommies’ soccer rookie Brett Springer won the award in September.

Lavoie scored 18 of his 30 points in the first quarter alone. The Tommies won the game 78-62.

Lavoie was born in Fredericton but grew up in Ottawa. When he was two-years-old, he started playing basketball because his older brother played. Ever since he hasn’t dropped his love for the game.

At five, he stepped on a court for the first time. He wanted to join a basketball camp and took the initiative to get his parents to sign him up. Lavoie said he has supportive parents who drive for 10 hours from Ottawa to see him play for the Tommies.

“My parents are my biggest fans … So far this year they came to every weekend but one and we’ve had like seven weekend games.”

Before choosing STU, Lavoie received offers from coaches from Mount Allison University and La Cité Collégiale in Ottawa but chose to study economics and business at STU. He said he liked their basketball program.

“I just felt like STU gave me the best opportunity to play basketball to study what I want to study, and to be happy where I am,” he said.

The Tommies’ basketball program shook things up this off-season, bringing in new head coach John Hickey to fill the role of Scott McLeod. Lavoie said Hickey knows how to bring the team together and make them work as a whole, whereas last year it was more of a an open game plan where their offense and defence were freer and it was a more individual style of play.

Lavoie likes the changes and said it has made his experience better

“A lot of things are changing, but so far, I’m having a really good time. And I like the way that coach is running the team. I like that he knows a lot about the game. And he is never scared to give us criticism or feedback,” he said.

Lavoie is currently the Tommies’ leading scorer, averaging 17 points per game, as well as putting up six rebounds a game and three assists while shooting an efficient 58 per cent. He said his team has a strong defence. Lavoie said he thrives at attacking the basket and finishing inside the key.

In his freshman year at STU he was chosen as the CCAA men’s basketball player of the year for the 2018-19 season. He was the leading scorer on the team alongside his teammate Almin Dervisevic, and continues leading the score this year.

Lavoie is used to a busy schedule, balancing basketball and education his whole life. Being a student athlete, he frequently feels tired and sore. He sleeps around 12 to 13 hours a day.

“I get hurt pretty often so I’m always kind of dealing with something that’s sore on my body so sleeping a lot feels good … I go to sleep at around one in the morning and sleep till 1 p.m,” he said.

After graduation Lavoie plans to continue with basketball, be it playing in other leagues, coaching, or involving himself in other ways.

“[I will continue playing] until my body can’t handle it anymore.”

Stats are accurate to the date of publication, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.

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