History will be made Wednesday night when Kadre Gray will be named the OUA Male Athlete of the Year. Gray's recognition is the first of its kind for a Laurentian male student-athlete and the first for the Voyageurs since swimming standout, Nancy Sweetnam, was named the Female Athlete of the Year following the 1992-93 season.
In a class of exceptional male student-athletes in OUA, Gray stood above the rest after his outstanding personal success led to exceptional team improvement. After leading the country in assists (141), finishing second in the country in total points (488), points per game (24.4) and free throws made (140), top-10 in field goals made (152) and minutes played per game (34.4), top-20 in three point percentage (43.1%) and defensive rebounds (132) and 21st in rebounds per game (8.0), one of Gray's biggest achievements was helping his team to a seven win improvement over last season.
After being named the OUA Men's Basketball MVP in February, the second year Health Promotion student was recognized at the national level in March when he became the first Voyageurs men's basketball player in 40 years to be named the U SPORTS Men's Basketball Player of the Year.
Gray will now be put forward as the conference nominee for the BLG Award. The BLG Awards were established in 1993 to recognize the top female and male athletes from universities affiliated with U SPORTS.
"I have learned a number of life lessons through athletics as a whole," says Gray. "I competed at high levels through basketball and track and field and it gave me a greater perspective on how valuable teamwork, leadership and dedication were. Through my experiences I've grown as person, always knowing that there are people in my neighbourhood that are looking up to me and that I have inspired to do great things. My aspirations for the future are to graduate with my bachelor degree, hopefully represent my country in basketball and make a change in kids' lives for the better. The BLG Award would give me an opportunity to pursue further and greater education beyond my undergrad when nobody thought I could."
On Monday, June 4th, the eight national nominees will be honoured at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver, BC. The female and male winners will receive a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship, while all finalists will return home with a commemorative gold ring from Jostens, the official suppliers of U SPORTS.