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Leading the team is his last year

by Jeffrey Muntu February 7, 2017 0 comment

Stingers forward Michael Fosu talks about being a fifth-year player on the basketball squad

Concordia Stingers men’s basketball forward Michael Fosu is now competing in his fifth year with the team. But before that, he played one year with the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds.

Fosu, who played basketball in CEGEP for Vanier College, initially chose to go to New Brunswick to play with one of his teammates from Vanier. However, just a year in, he decided to come to Concordia.

“It’s a great school, don’t get me wrong,” Fosu said. “People are nice over there, but [for me] it was about winning. I wanted to make the playoffs. That’s what we’ve been able to do here.”

The fifth-year Stinger also went to Lucien Page, a French high school here in Montreal. With a strong knowledge of French, Fosu found himself in Concordia’s French Studies program, from which he is set to graduate from this year. However, he said his field of study had no bearing on his decision to come to Concordia. His decision was purely from a competitive standpoint.

Having been with the Stingers for four years, Fosu has seen many players come and go. He recalled Zach Brisebois and Taylor Garner, among others, as being his favourite teammates to play with.

osu played a year of university basketball in New Brunswick before coming to the Stingers. Photos by Brianna Thicke.

“My first year here is the only year where I can say that I played with veteran guys who know the game of basketball,” Fosu said.

He also explained he had a great relationship with the team’s head coach at the time, John Dore.

“He was more like a father figure to me,” Fosu said.

Fosu also explained the community within the basketball program was one of the major reasons he knew Concordia was the right team for him, describing the overall atmosphere as one of a “family.” As soon as he set foot on campus, he said it was easy for him to joke around with his older teammates—which is something he tries to do now with the younger guys on the team.

“Of course they are rookies,” Fosu said. “But at the same time, we let them know that they are a part of the family. “

That same team spirit is the reason why the transition between Dore and current head coach Rastko Popovic has been so effortless. Popovic was an assistant coach with the women’s and men’s teams before being promoted to head coach of the men’s team. Having known the guys on the team for a while, Popovic looked to Fosu to provide leadership for the team.

“I am a man of few words,” Fosu said. “I am a guy who leads by example.”

Fosu also noted that, during his collegiate career, a few players have come in and out of the program without ever being able to sustain the level of play that’s demanded. This is a reality that has drastically changed over the course of the last year or so.

“The new guys coming in are so mature for their age,” Fosu said. “I can’t wait to see what they’ll do in the future.”

When talking about the new Stingers players, Fosu referenced Olivier Simon and Roman Power as guys who have already shown promise in their first year.

For Fosu and the team, the goal is to win a championship—just like every year. However, optimism is high due to the current crop of young players who will help solidify the Stingers as serious competitors—not just this year, but for the years to come. Fosu is excited to be a part of that process despite that this is his last year.

Fosu’s experience has made him a major contributor to his team, having started eight games out of nine this season and averaging 8.7 points per game. He also plays 22 minutes per game, which ranks him fourth amongst his teammates—a testament to the depth Popovic has been able to assemble.

Fosu also believes this year’s team is the one most likely to contend for a title in years.

“This is the most talented team we’ve had since I got here,” Fosu said. “We’ve always been one step away from really winning it all, but this year, hopefully with the young guys, we can get to the championship.”

There is no doubt in his mind the program is in good hands.

“If I have an opportunity to be an assistant coach, I will take it,” Fosu said. “I want to stay involved in the game.”

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