• Nick Zacharias

Five Cavaliers honoured

PHOTO COURTESY SHANNON PELLEY Carole Youssef, centre, with her proud father on the left and Cavaliers Basketball Association President Michel Bento on the right, earned a $500 scholarship and a laptop.

The Île-Perrot Cavaliers basketball association had a shortened 2020 season when games were brought to a halt by COVID-19, but that didn’t stop them from recognizing a few standout players who shone this year. Said association Vice President Shannon Pelley, “We wanted to do something this year, something that was started long before the pandemic, and that was to award $500 scholarship prizes along with free Lenovo laptop computers to players who distinguished themselves– on the court, but also in school and by volunteering in the community.”

The original plan was to have two top prizes through their partnership with Lenovo, one for a male and one for a female player, but when they saw the calibre of deserving young names being submitted, “…we felt like we really had to add a runner-up category. We decided to add three more prizes of $500 each, because the applicants we had were all so good.”

Well rounded

First recognized was Simon Bussière, an outstanding student at John Abbott College and star player with the Juvenile Cavaliers. He’s been playing for Île-Perrot since he was in Grade 5 and has progressed impressively through to what is now his last year as a Juvenile. A great player who performs equally well off the court, he was deemed worthy of this honour. Says Pelley, “He has outstanding report cards and also has volunteered his time with the association for years, working as a scorekeeper and also coaching the little ones in our ‘Junior NBA’ programme.

Limitless energy

Carole Youssef is a young lady who is not only a great basketball player but a boon to the community. The standout Grade 9 student at Cité-des-Jeunes had a great season but also found time to volunteer in the community through the school, as well as participate in Air Cadets, volunteer with the Cavaliers and help with a local food drive. “She’s very mature for her age,” said Pelley, “she’s an impressive individual.” In a recent outdoor ceremony, Youssef and Bussière both received a $500 scholarship and a laptop for their achievements.

Also recognized

Runners-up Kendrick Lawrence, Ryan O’Grady and Malik Guerrier were also awarded scholarships; each received a $500 cheque to further their education in recognition of their dedication on the basketball court, in school, and in the community.

Impressive organization

In spite of the unexpected interruption, the association had a solid season this year. Says Pelley, “We’re a big organization – we have 12 competitive teams in different divisions, and we also have a house league.” While some of the teams are more in development, others are really on top of their game. “Our Midget AA team went undefeated this year right up until the finals were cancelled, so the league decided to award them with the title as this year’s champions.”

With performances like that, and with such a high number of remarkably bright, community-minded and talented individual athletes, Cavaliers basketball has a lot to be proud of and much to look forward to in seasons to come.

See more photos on our Facebook page.

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