“My first memory with a basketball? It was around the age of 9, 10, when I lived in Vaudreuil with my father. In fact, I started the sport with soccer, then basketball, and I had to make a choice. Both were too much for me,” says Quincy Guerrier.
It seems that this choice turned out to be the right one for Quincy. The 23-year-old, who grew up in Rivière-des-Prairies, is now one of those Montreal basketball stars, like Bennedict Mathurin and Chris Boucher. Like them, he is aiming for the highest level: the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Playing today in the NCAA American university championship, the all-purpose winger from the University of Oregon looks back on his journey, in an interview with Subway.
Work and sacrifice
As a young teenager, his parents divorced and Quincy went to live with his mother in Rivière-des-Prairies at the age of 11. He continues to feed his passion for basketball at Jean-Grou high school. His trainer at the time, Oscar Salut, did not let him go and pushed him to work ever harder.
“One summer, Oscar recommended me to a team, QC United, which had a summer basketball program where we would play games in Canada and the United States. I was the best player on my team and then I was approached to go to Thetford Mines,” he recalls.
Quincy Guerrier knows it well: to reach the highest level, it takes talent, but above all work and self-sacrifice, qualities he knows how to show.
He was only 15 years old when he left home to join the Academy of Cégep de Thetford, 2h30 from Montreal. This veritable breeding ground for talent has seen the rise of a certain Chris Boucher, a Toronto Raptors player from Montreal North.
“It was hard, the first months, I cried sometimes. […] It took a lot out of me physically and mentally. But with the sacrifices that my mother made for me, I told myself that I could not leave, ”confides the young man.
While he sees his group of friends going out and having fun on social networks, Quincy keeps his goal in mind. Away from friends and family, he knows where he wants to go.
I have brothers and a sister; it’s hard to watch them grow up and not be able to be with them. It’s part of the process. I know that one day I will be in the NBA and my sacrifices will have paid off
The Haitian-born player graduated from CEGEP in just two and a half years. After participating in several summer leagues, he flew to Syracuse in 2019, in New York State. He then prepares to take his first steps in the NCAA, where his talent will explode.
Before the NBA, patience
“My mum sacrificed a lot for me, my friends cheer me on… A lot of people thought I was going to be one and done. I understood that each person has their own path,” says Quincy Guerrier.
After two years with the Syracuse Orange, he flew to Oregon for his 3e year in NCAA. A season with the Ducks that ended with an average of 10.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
He could have made it to the NBA this year; he had also entered his name in the repechage. Finally, he makes the decision to complete an additional college year to try to be drafted at the highest level.
« I wanted to make [essais] with NBA teams. The goal? Put a foot in the door this year and have a big season during my last year in Oregon”, explains the basketball player. With his team with “high potential”, he will indeed be able to continue to work on his defense and his shooting, strengths of the 6-foot-7 player.
« I work hard every day to be able to be in the NBA next year, » says the versatile winger. If possible, on an Eastern Conference team, so his family and friends can come see him.
Quincy Guerrier is aware that he will probably not be among the very first choices of his future coach, but he is not discouraged. “I will continue to work, to accept my role and to play the game I’ve always wanted to play. »
In any case, he will have the support of his large family in Prairivo, who are impatiently waiting to see him tread the biggest floors.
Putting more money into Montreal basketball
Northeast Montreal is increasingly being talked about as a hotbed of basketball talent. Yet infrastructure and opportunities are lacking, according to Quincy Guerrier.
“I hope that one day things will change in Montreal and that we will put more money [dans ce sport], whether in RDP or Montreal North, to create more centres. Yes, there have been changes, but it’s still not enough, ”argues the 23-year-old player.
The Oregon Ducks winger knows he is a benchmark for many youngsters in RDP and beyond. The example of a neighborhood guy who achieves his dream.
“If I had a message to [faire] to pass is to keep your head on your shoulders. You have to believe in yourself, listen to what people have to say to help you. […] It is necessary to be constant in work to go to the university , underlines it.