Ever since Emerick Ravier went down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a Canada West men’s basketball game on Jan. 6, 2012, he has been anxious awaiting returning to the court with the Brandon University Bobcats.
He underwent reconstructive surgery on his knee in March and worked hard rehabilitating it so he could return to the team this season, which was slated to be his fifth and final year of eligibility. However, a slow recovery process left Ravier in a position where he could join the team in a few weeks and exhaust his eligibility over the last two months of the season, or medically redshirt this year and come back in the fall and play a full season.
Ravier consulted with family and friends, made up a list of the pros and cons for returning and decided to sit out this season. It was a tough decision to make, but one he’s happy with.
"At first it was really difficult when the season started because I kinda decided that early even though I pushed myself to get back, so I was on the edge," he said. "Now I just see with time how my knee is getting better and I’m anxious to get back to work as much as I can to come back next year."
Part of what made Ravier’s decision easier is he still has one more year left of school to finish his sociology and geography degrees.
While Ravier won’t be in the Bobcats’ lineup this season, he’s still trying to be as much of a leader as he can be. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound guard has been studying videotape and the game from the bench in hopes of helping himself in the future and in order to pass on information to his teammates. He is also trying to take the younger players under his wing.
Ravier is now back practising with the team and has been very impressive according to BU head coach Gil Cheung, even though Ravier is only at about 85 per cent health.
"The scary thing is he’s looked great in practice the last few weeks," Cheung said. "He’s getting closer, but we’re shutting him down."
Ravier meant a lot to the 2011-12 Bobcats. He led the team with 16.3 points per game and averaged 6.3 rebounds per game as Brandon started the season with a 4-5 record and averaged 78.7 points per game. Without him, Brandon went 3-8 and averaged 70.6 points per game.
This season, Brandon has a 3-9 record and is averaging 68.2 points per game, which is the second-lowest in Canada West.
When he returns to the team next season, Ravier doesn’t just want to regain his scoring touch, he also wants to have a bigger role on the Bobcats.
"I’m going to get my body ready, get my body better and be in the best shape I can and hopefully bring that leadership so next year I’ll be a captain, if my teammates allow me to, and just be more vocal and be ready to go all the way," he said.