While there are no sure things in life, two of his G.P. Vanier coaches were pretty sure Brad Gunter was headed for a stellar stint in CIS volleyball.
“Brad was one of the finest athletes Vanier has ever had the pleasure of working with,” said Larry Street, the Towhees’ long-time basketball coach.
“He loved sports, and by Grade 11-12 he focused primarily on volleyball, and was an integral part of our basketball family. He was basically a man amongst boys – taller than most, strong as an ox, and his basketball IQ was tremendous considering he didn’t really focus on the game in the off-season,” said Street, a former athletic director at Vanier who was inducted into the Basketball BC Hall of Fame in 2014.
“He just was a natural – and a fine young man as well! A pleasure to coach, great teammate, hard worker, excellent temperament, and a good leader,” added Street, who in 37 years of coaching is the only coach to take five different high schools to the B.C. AAA championships.
Brian McAskill was Gunter’s volleyball coach, and he sees more good things ahead for the talented athlete now that his university days are over.
“Brad is the most talented, athletic volleyball player to be produced by the Comox Valley high school and club volleyball system since Tom Graham. His physical gifts combined with his coachability allow him to reach his never-ending goal of representing our country at world competitions.
“Since Brad was in Grade 9 he has always been ‘the one,’ he has always had all the eyes on him, all the pressure, all the expectations even at a young age competing against older, more experienced players,” said McAskill, whose seven summers as head coach of Team BC included a national championship, national silver medal and trip to the 2005 Canada Games.
“What amazes me the most is he has always remained humble and grounded, he is confident with out being cocky, he is supportive and demanding of teammates without being blameful and oppositional,” McAskill added.
“These traits point to a level-headed young man, someone willing to listen to and learn from adults… but most importantly it points to great and supportive parents, where the education begins for each and every student,” McAskill noted.
“I have no doubts Brad will represent our country in the future and succeed both on the court and financially playing professional volleyball overseas if he desires to pursue volleyball as a career.”
SIDE OUTS In his final year with Vanier, Gunter was named by The Province newspaper as the top high school boys volleyball player in B.C. … Gunter chose to attend TRU over UBC and UBCO …