We’d like to introduce you to Michael, a veteran Coyote and business student at Okanagan College. The Immaculata Regional High School graduate is back playing on the Immaculata court for the 2nd year in a row after leaving the Okanagan when he started his post-secondary athletic career. With the confidence of a gifted multi-sport student athlete, Michael has continually excelled both on and off the court, carrying high marks throughout school while not sacrificing any on court or field performance.
The Immaculata male athlete of the year has had a basketball in his hands since before he can remember. This comes as no surprise as basketball is in the Gini DNA. His oldest brother played at Lakehead University, his sister found success playing for Algonquin college and his other brother played for the men’s team up the road at UBCO. His siblings along with his parents were huge influences when he had to choose between basketball and baseball. In his grade 12 year, his athletic ability paired with an apt 3.85 GPA allowed him his choice of schools across the country. While not an easy decision for any 18 year old, Michael followed his passion for basketball and decided to attend Red Deer College. Consulting with family and given the opportunity to play in his first year for the Kings, Michael shipped off to Red Deer. However, after a year off, the opportunity arose to play at home, in front of family, friends and a community he grew up in, Mike was drawn back to OC and the Okanagan. Like any big decision, it wasn’t easy as there’s always added pressure with playing at home but the opportunity to represent the Coyotes as part of their inaugural program was too good to pass up.
As a veteran on the team, you’ll see Mike leading by example both on and off the court and in the community. While he focuses on basketball now his advice to younger athletes is, “to love all sports and don’t close yourself off to an experience.” His advice echoes that of the legendary Bobby Orr who said, “Play other sports, have other coaches, hang around other kids.” Wise advice from two great athletes and one you’ll be sure to catch around the local Kelowna community. You can catch Mike and the Coyotes as they embark on their PacWest season Nov. 2, or in preseason action Oct. 13 against TRU! Keep following along for more stories from the Okanagan College Coyotes!