Kadre Gray of the Laurentian Voyageurs is the winner of the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy, given to the U SPORTS Player of the Year, and he was named a U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian.
The 6-foot-1 guard led the OUA and was second in U SPORTS in scoring this season, averaging 24.4 points per game. Last year’s U SPORTS Rookie of the Year, Gray becomes the first Voyageur from the men’s basketball program to be honoured as the player of the year at the national level in 40 years when Charlie Wise had the honours in 1977-78. Gray’s U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian nod is the first All-Canadian for a Voyageur since 1999-2000 when Ted Dongelmans was honoured as a First Team member.
For Gray, the significance of the honour is not lost on him but he is not about to take sole credit for his accomplishment. “It is an amazing honour to go down in the history books, being only the second Laurentian men's basketball player to earn this award, and I can only give all the glory to Jesus Christ.”
A Health Promotion major from Toronto, Gray picked up where he left off last season and never looked back. He led the country in assists (141), finished 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).
The jaw dropping numbers speak to Gray’s commitment to the game and his focus, saying, “This award shows that anyone is capable of doing what seems impossible. If you have a goal, set your mind to it, work toward it every day and, most importantly, never forget it.”
Gray’s stat line dominance was evidenced by his three triple-doubles this season, which is even more exceptional given the fact that the OUA had not seen a single triple-double since a game in November 2013. On top of his triple-doubles, Gray tallied a double-double in another seven games, topped 25 points 10 different times and dished out a league-wide, single game high, 14 assists not once, but twice this season.
For the Voyageurs’ bench boss, Shawn Swords, this recognition is culmination of his guard’s dedication, skill and hard work.
“Kadre's work ethic is second to none, he said. This offseason his mindset was to improve in every aspect of the game and encourage the rest of the team to do this as well. The results were amazing to witness. The maturity at which he plays the game is well beyond his years. As dedicated as he is to his team and improving on the court he is equally dedicated off the court. The community in Sudbury has very much taken to his work ethic and his thoughtfulness. We are proud of his accomplishment and glad to see all the work he has put in get recognized.”
Beyond his personal success, Gray was also a catalyst for Laurentian’s most successful team in years, as the Voyageurs climbed to as high as 5th in the national rankings. He helped spearhead a seven-game improvement over last season, helping guide the team to a 16-7 conference record, the most wins the blue and gold had seen since the Wilson Cup winning team of 1999-2000.
Gray hopes that this recognition of self and team will be a catalyst for the program becoming a contender. “I hope it means that Laurentian becomes a place where newcomers will want to come, eventually creating a national championship program.”