Through nearly five years of university life and basketball at Laurentian University, Georges Serresse is still the man he always was.
The pressure of producing good grades in the classroom and superb performances on the court can make for a lot of change in a person. It can tear them up. Tear them down. It can propel them to new heights. Sink them to new lows.
Through thick and thin, Serresse, in his fifth and final year at Laurentian, has remained true to himself.
It doesn’t mean he didn’t change or grow. Serresse grew and excelled at the challenge of university life and basketball. He took everything it could throw at him and asked for more.
He is still the man who pours out all he has on the court.
“It is how I have always been and always will be,” he said.
Serresse is in the final stages of a stellar career at Laurentian. In reality, Serresse is in the last steps of a remarkable basketball career in Greater Sudbury.
He joined the Voyageurs in 2008 after a brilliant campaign with College Notre-Dame, in which he led the team to the SDSSAA Division I championship.
Serresse has improved his overall game each season with the Voyageurs and has been a loyal leader for the club in 2012-13 because of his experience and dedication to the team and his game.
He has earned the respect of his coaches, teammates and fans. It’s not hard to recognize it. One only has to watch Serresse at a game or in practice and they will find first-hand the meaning of hustle, heart and passion.
Long before he hit the university scene, Serresse was diligently working on his game, putting in countless hours on the hard courts of the Nickel City.
Serresse brought a whole dose of winning character to the Voyageurs. His attitude and approach have always been appreciated. He brought an aura of professionalism to the team.
“His character and heart are unquestioned,” said Laurentian Voyageurs head coach Shawn Swords. “He loves the game and will do anything for his team to win.
“Georges has been a pleasure to coach. He has been a guy you want to see at practice who is always going to try his best and won’t leave anything undone.
“He has brought a winning attitude and required dedication through his years hear and has been invaluable to the program.”
Serresse has been playing basketball for 12 years. When it came time to pick his post-secondary opportunity, Serresse couldn’t think of a better place than his hometown and Laurentian.
When he was a teenager in high school, Serresse regularly attended Voyageur games. He couldn’t get enough of them. He dreamed of making big things happen in the Ben Avery Gymnasium. Serresse made it happen.
He has become a focal point for the Voyageurs and one of their most important players on and off the court.
Serresse stayed dedicated to making himself a better player and a better person with each passing day.
This steadfast determination lead him to where he is today — one of the best players in the OUA. He has put everything he has into his career. He has walked a straight line. He has worked his ass off to reach this point. Still, Serresse isn’t a man satisfied with past results. He will always want to do more. He will always want to be better.
“I have pushed myself everyday since I began to play in my first year at Laurentian, but no matter how much work I put in, it is never enough in my mind,” he said. “In order to play, I feel that I haven’t sacrificed anything. When you love what you do, you don’t have regrets.”
Serresse is helping the Voyageurs compete in the tough east Division of the OUA for a playoff spot. His on-court work is undeniable. Serresse sits 13th in OUA scoring, averaging 16 points per game. He also sits 13th in rebounding with 6.8 per game.
The 6-4, 195-pound forward has been asked to do a lot this season. He has been asked to step up and deliver his best. He has, and he has done it with authority. Swords said, bluntly, that Serresse is at his best in a game when he plays with a “chip on his shoulder.”
“This season he has really stepped it up at both ends. He has been asked to cover the biggest guy and rebounding like a mad man,” Swords said. “He can score from inside and out.”
The Laurentian experience has been an ideal fit for Serresse. It worked for him and he worked for it. While the man hasn’t changed, the game Serresse plays has, and it is because of Laurentian that he is the athlete he is today.
It has allowed him to become a leader in sport and life.
“Over the last five years, I have sharpened my skill set, focused my goals, and created a cleaner, more powerful game,” he said.
“Since my first year, my feel for the game is completely different. I have gained confidence in my performance every time I step on the court.”