Sean Garvey admits most of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) coaches he will face in the upcoming 2005-2006 season won’t know him because he wasn’t heavily recruited out of Westsyde Secondary high school. But, by the end of this year, coaches and fans will most likely will not forget the name and the face of Sean Garvey.
The six-foot-three, 180-pound point guard plays for the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) WolfPack of Kamloops, BC. The team will move up to the CIS after competing last year in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) as the University College of the Cariboo (UCC).
Garvey has a dangerous combination of size, speed, vision and basketball sense. He loves to push the ball down the court which is well suited to the up-tempo WolfPack offence. “As a point guard, I love to run; it’s my favourite part of basketball. I love to throw the ball over the top; I mean I throw more long-court passes than anybody I play against. I push. If you don’t stop me on the court, I will try to go all the way to the other hoop,” said Garvey.
With his height, there is versatility to Garvey, who can also post up and cause mismatches which leads to open shots for his team-mates. TRU Head Coach, Nevin Gleddie, believes his point guard will succeed in the CIS.
“He’s become a very good leader…He understands what I want in most situations.” Gleddie continues, “Classic Sean will, if he can’t sleep, come down to the gym at one and shoot until three in the morning, go back home and sleep. He lives for this game. I would put Sean with anybody in the country. I would expect Sean to be a part of the Canada West conference all-stars at the end of the year.” And if history is a good indicator, there is no reason to doubt the coach.
Last year, Garvey led UCC to the CCAA National Championship, adding to the bronze medal that he earned in 2004. He was named Tournament MVP and an All-Canadian for his efforts. In the regular season, Garvey’s generosity was in full display as he averaged 7.7 dimes per game to go along with his 16.6 points. Those numbers were good enough for second and seventh place in conference play. At the Winnipeg Wesmen Classic last December, he made the tournament all-star team along with CIS stars like Phil Sudol (Alberta) and Winnipeg’s Erfan Nasajpour, who was named MVP. For Garvey, last season couldn’t have been any more successful.
“It [the CCAA Championship] was a dream come true, every year it was our goal. I had, personally, an unbelievable year. It was three years of hard work. When I first got to UCC, I wasn’t really considered a prized recruit at all and not a lot of schools had taken a look at me, a few but not a lot, and I’ve just worked super hard to get everything I got and like I said, it was a dream season. You can’t ask for anything better.”
Now Garvey and the WolfPack will move up and have a chance at claiming a CIS championship. TRU returns almost all their players from last year’s team and will be full of fourth-year players for the first time. Gleddie believes physical and mental maturity is the main difference between college teams and those in the CIS. Rarely do Canadian college rosters have more than a few fourth and fifth-year seniors.
Last season, UCC went 2-5 against CIS teams with wins against Trinity Western and Manitoba with close losses against Winnipeg and Simon Fraser. Gleddie has set his goals high for 2005-2006. “We would assume that we’re going to make playoffs and certainly we’re going to have to battle for that, I understand it’s a very tough division, but for me to set the goals any less than winning the conference and winning the Nationals, I think I’m I’d doing a disservice to my players.”
And if the rest of the team has Garvey’s competitive drive, then TRU should look forward to a lot more of winning basketball. “We’re not coming in to lose, at least I’m not. I’m coming in to win games.”