While the recognition of Laurentian Voyageurs basketball star Kadre Gray’s on-court accomplishments have been plentiful and consistent, he is once again being recognized by U Sports, but this time it is his off-court successes that have earned him the accolade.
Gray was named one of U Sports’ Top 8 Academic All-Canadians on Jan. 11, an annual honour reserved for one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four U Sports conferences, becoming the first Voyageur to be named a recipient of the honour.
In a record-setting season that saw Gray break Laurentian’s 27-year-old men’s basketball career scoring record and slide into second on the OUA’s all-time list, Gray also finished the year on the Dean’s Honours List with a 9.1 GPA (88 per cent) in 2019-20, his second straight season as an Academic All-Canadian.
In the community, he serves as the vice chair on the inaugural OUA Black, Biracial and Indigenous (BBI) Task Force, which aims to create a platform for positive change across the province. The BBI Task Force seeks to achieve these goals by building strategies to increase diversity and representation and to drive policy change in order to remove systemic barriers regarding racism.
“It has been a pleasure coaching Kadre,” said Voyageurs head coach Shawn Swords. “I have said in the past and will continue to say, his work ethic is amazing. He continues to push himself to achieve new goals in the community, in the classroom and on the court. I look forward to watching what he will be able to do next.”
Furthering these initiatives, Gray co-founded ULU, which stands for Uluntu, Lungisa, Usawa (translating to Humanity, Justice, Equity) in 2017 – an organization that works with racialized youth to develop support groups, facilitate workshops, raise awareness, promote advocacy and empowerment and provide ally-training.
Gray also gives back on the court and in the classroom, serving as a Laurentian basketball camp supervisor, as well as a peer-mentor and coach, teaching children both basketball and life skills while assisting with homework and reading and writing activities.
“Kadre continues to demonstrate not only his elite basketball talent, but also his ability to lead in the classroom and in the community,” said Laurentian athletic direct Peter Hellstrom. “Kadre is a prime example and a template for elite student-athletes all across our country. He has become a leader not only at Laurentian but in the Sudbury community, as well. We are truly proud to have Kadre on our campus and forever being a Voyageur.”
In lieu of a formal ceremony at Rideau Hall, the group will participate in a public virtual conversation with Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, in mid-February, due to COVID-19 restrictions.