Written by Taylor Prichard, Sports Information
Photo by Valerie Wutti
He is one of the most recognizable faces of the several hundred student-athletes that comprise the Carleton Ravens varsity athletics program. His dark curls and rugged beard have become a staple within the confines of the Ravens’ Nest for the past five years. While there is no way to know for sure, there is a very good chance that he has spent more hours in Alumni Hall than any Raven before him.
Meet Gavin Resch, the co-captain of this year’s men’s basketball team and a member of five CIS men’s basketball national championship teams.
This season has been unlike any other for Resch, one that has pushed him beyond his comfort zone and into one of the program’s top role models. Under Carleton’s ‘next man up’ philosophy, the former OFSAA gold medalist and Ontario provincial club basketball champion has inherited the leadership torch for a Canadian university men’s basketball dynasty that extended its all-time national titles record to eleven last March.
There are few CIS basketball players – or Canadian university student-athletes for that matter – who have experienced as much success as Resch. The humble 6-foot-2 guard has been on a wild ride that has seen him go from a redshirt player and seldom used reserve to a dependable veteran starter and the face of the men’s basketball team.
This will be Resch’s final campaign in the Ravens uniform, and as he winds down his university career, the graduate of St. Matthew Catholic High School in Orleans could go out by making history.
According to an article written last year by Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, only former Carleton star Osvaldo Jeanty, the University of Victoria’s Eli Pasquale and David Sheehan, along with last season’s additions in former Ravens players Phil and Tommy Scrubb, have won five national titles. Resch and teammate Guillaume Payen Boucard could become the sixth and seventh members of that elusive club later this month.
While there is plenty of work to be done between an OUA Final Four semi-final against rival uOttawa (March 11) and the CIS Final 8 championship game on March 20 in Vancouver, Resch has enjoyed every minute at Carleton and certainly has some fond memories of being on so many great teams.
“I think the first (national championship) was pretty memorable because it was a new experience for me,” described Resch. “Last year was also pretty special mainly since a lot of the guys I was closest with on the team were in their final year.”
Through the years, Resch has bought into a system and learned within the team’s well-established hierarchy, something that he notes has been an interesting transition for him to make in 2015-16.
“It is much harder to lead than I had originally thought,” expressed Resch, who started all 19 regular season games for the Ravens this year. “There comes a point when you start thinking ‘it’s more than just about what I’m doing’, and you start to factor in the younger guys and make sure that they are on the same page and that their heads are in the right place.”
The fifth-year redshirt was quick to give credit to the team leaders that he has drawn inspiration from over his career.
“I have had some great people to look up to over the years. Guys like Elliott Thompson, Cole Hobin and Willy Manigat come to mind right away,” began Resch, before pausing to consider his abundance of options. “Even though we were peers, Vic (Raso), Phil and Tommy (Scrubb) certainly come to mind as well; you try and take the best pieces from everyone and learn as much as possible.”
In his final season as a Raven, Resch posted a career-high 10.1 PPG on 43.2 FG% from the floor and 44.7 3PT FG% from beyond the arc.
While he has never been named an OUA All-Star or a CIS All-Canadian through his university days, Resch’s consistent delivery on the intangibles – dedication, commitment, teamwork – is a true testament to everything that epitomizes the tremendously successful Carleton Ravens basketball culture.
“The part I am going to miss most about being at school is the community aspect by being in the same place for so many years and just walking around and knowing the people and the staff from the coaches to the therapy team,” reflected Resch. “You get a feeling of home, it’s comforting.”
Resch hopes that the Ravens will add another championship banner to the crowded wall in the Ravens’ Nest, but regardless of the team’s season outcome in 2015-16, the senior will ride off into the sunset with memories that will last a lifetime.
RESCH’S CARLETON CAREER IN PICTURES: