Thursday, June 27, 2019

Camosun student Graham Basi takes home college’s President’s Cup award

June 12, 2019 by Katy Weicker, contributing writer

Camosun student Graham Basi has won the Camosun College President’s Cup award. The award is among the most prestigious a Camosun athlete can receive; it’s earned by a student athlete through a combination of excellence in athletics and academics, and it’s presented at the annual Athletic Awards Ceremony. At this year’s ceremony, held on April 25, the award went to second-year men’s volleyball left-side hitter Basi.

While Basi admits he had an inkling he was going to win something, he had no idea he was going to walk away with one of the biggest awards of the night. 

“I was just so surprised at the actual awards presentation when they called my name, because I had no idea that’s what I was going to get,” Basi says. 

Camosun president Sherri Bell presenting the President’s Cup to Graham Basi (photo by Camosun Chargers Athletics).

One person who wasn’t hugely surprised was Chargers men’s volleyball coach Charles Parkinson.

“I was super happy for Graham, because he is the perfect example of what’s possible with hard work,” says Parkinson. 

Basi, a second-year Business Administration student, was on the dean’s honour roll in the first year of his studies and won a Pacific Western Athletic Association Academic Excellence award for his academic achievements in 2018 and 2019. Basi says his ability to be successful in both athletics and academics comes down to strategic planning and finding a good balance between courses.  

“School’s always been something that I’ve been pretty good at, so that makes it a little bit easier,” Basi admits, “but honestly, I think it’s more about setting yourself up for success—that’s planning your courses, making sure you’re taking courses that you can work hard at and be successful at.”

Parkinson echoes that mentality, saying that the Chargers try to recruit players who are not just good athletes but also bright and intelligent students.

“If you want to play sports at a post-secondary level, you have to maintain both your athletic and your academic eligibility,” Parkinson explains, “so it becomes pretty important that we try and recruit kids that have a really good balance between the two.”

That ability to balance is necessary for Basi, who, on the average day last semester, was juggling two two-hour classes, followed by two hours of volleyball, another hour or two of training in the gym, and homework and assignments.

“It gets pretty busy sometimes,” he says.

Basi, who started playing volleyball at the beginning of high school, got into the sport to follow in his father’s footsteps. 

“My dad played a lot when he was younger,” he says.

But when he began this journey, Basi had no idea he would one day be playing at a college level.

“Towards my Grade 12 year I wanted to, but I never really got the call to say, ‘Hey, come play for Camosun’,” Basi says. 

Still, thanks to open try-outs, Basi joined the team in the 2017-2018 season as a red shirt, meaning he could practice and work out with the team, but he didn’t play competitively. 

“I told him you need a season to kind of see how far you can go,” says Parkinson. “And he just worked his tail off.”

Parkinson says that during that first season, Basi took every opportunity and advantage presented to him to better himself as a player. Basi became an active member of the volleyball team for the 2018-2019 season, where he continued to shine.

“This year he was a key performer for us on the roster,” says Parkinson. “He came in in the semi-finals of the provincial championships and did a masterful job, and was the reason we made it to the finals.”

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