It has been more than a year and a half since Emerick Ravier has taken the court with the Brandon University Bobcats men’s basketball team, and he’s been anxious to get back.
Ravier, a shooting guard heading into his fifth year of eligibility, hasn’t played a Canada West conference game since he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against the Regina Cougars on Jan. 6, 2012. Ravier, who was leading the team with 16.3 points per game, missed the remainder of that year and all of last season while rehabilitating his knee after going under the knife.
Prior to last night’s exhibition game against the Minot State Beavers, Ravier said his knee was at 95 per cent and he can’t wait to begin the season and try to help lead the Bobcats get back into the playoffs.
“I don’t even think I can put it into words,” said Ravier, who is also passionate about music and released a music video for his song Makin’ Luv (Missin’) in July. “Just thinking about it now, just the long process it took, from the time I got hurt to now, it’s a long, long time. … My knee feels great and I’m very excited.”
Last season was incredibly frustrating for Ravier. His recovery from the surgery went well enough that he could have returned to play in the second half of the season, but he and the coaching staff decided it was best to sit out the whole campaign since playing in the final few games would exhaust his CIS eligibility.
Ravier made the best of his time by studying a lot of film, learning more about the tendencies and preferences of each player and how to take better care of his body. All of that has made Ravier a better leader, and this season he hopes to put to use everything he learned since his injury and be more vocal to lead the team.
“Most of the time I lead by example, but (head coach Gil Cheung) wants me to be a more vocal person,” said the 6-foot-2 Ravier, who trimmed down to 190 pounds with his summer training program. “This year, that’s something I want to put an emphasis on with everything we do, just make sure that guys can hear my voice.
“I just feel like if one of these guys speak, I have to speak up. As one of the captains of the team, I’ve got to speak out and let them know we’re seriously trying something new and making a good run. However we go, we have to do it as a team. I feel if I’m one of the main guys who talks a lot, the guys will follow.”
Now that he’s back with the Bobcats, Ravier has set goals for himself to be more physical, grab more rebounds and run the lanes more to get easy baskets. He also wants to do a better job of reading plays on both ends of the court.
He appreciates all the support he’s received from the community while he recovered from his knee surgery, and Ravier said he will do everything he can to help the team post a winning record.
“My goal for this year is to do my very best and work 150 per cent and not take one night off,” he said. “Do the best I can. … I just want to go out with a bang and give my best effort.”
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 31, 2013