Vanier Cheetahs ride hard work to the top
Published Sunday, November 4, 2012 7:01PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, November 4, 2012 7:04PM EST
MONTREAL - The Vanier College Cheetahs are proving that diversity can be a great thing on a team, as players from all different backgrounds have combined to form a powerhouse that might duplicate its 2010 National Championship.
The coach says that they all share one quality: an appetite for hard work.
“We have a magic formula. I hesitate to share it with everyone," said Coach Andrew Hertzog. “It is a two-word magic formula. It's called hard work. That's all it is. I'll tell kids when I recruit them, 'if you think there is a magic wand, there isn't. I don't know any short cuts. All I know is hard work.'”
One example of the Cheetah melting pot is found in two francophones from Three Rivers who believe strong English is going to help their career after basketball.
“I didn't choose an English school,” said Cheetah player John Daniel Mathieu. “I chose Vanier. I believe that to do better in the world, it is a plus for me in life.”
Another factor in Vanier College's success is players just want to be around success.
London, Ontario's Kyle Johnston discovered the Cheetahs while watching their national championship run.
“I decided to come because Vanier won the national championship but I also came for the education because I thought the CEGEP program could better prepare me for university,” said Johnston.
If the Cheetahs fight for a national championship this year, it will be on the back of Tevonn Walker who is being recruited by American universities.
“They've been calling me recently talking about taking business, there’s a lot of interest from the other side of the border. I like it. It's good,” said Walker.
Coach Hertzog eventually confessed that there might be an element other than hard work helping out the team.
“A big part of our success is we have a certain reputation. We get kids to the next level. The last few years we have gotten players even the ones sitting the end of the bench to the university level and most of them on scholarships,” said Hertzog.