Valentin Crainic leads by example with volunteering
Valentin Crainic sticks to his team like glue.
And for his younger teammates at Earl Haig it was Crainic’s tenacity that led them to the city championship semifinals, observed his senior boys basketball coach Eric James.
“Because this was his grade 12 year he took more of a leadership role and sort of held our team together,” James said. “I think he actually developed his from last year as well in terms of being more aggressive and being more of a leader with the kids.”
It was a memorable season for Earl Haig’s basketball crew, as Crainic and his teammates held fast to the school’s motto: “Carpe Diem”.
“Our season actually ended up a little better than I expected,” James said. “I was pleasantly surprised with what we did.”
Crainic is stoic, but when pressed for information he rattles off not just the team’s good showing, but his work as the eco-rep on student council and his role on the athletic council.
“It’s tough,” he said.
Up at 7 a.m. for extra-curricular work, then class, followed by a serving of afternoon practices, is enough to tire out a draught horse, but for Crainic it’s all about being a part of the team.
“It’s more like leading by example,” he said.
James was more than pleased to have a captain who goes down with the ship.
“He’s always positive,” he said. “You don’t hear anything negative coming out of him, even when he encourages his teammates.”
As for being the point man on court?
“There was a number of instances where they were up a point, down a point, tied and Val made a crucial steal or rebound, dribbled
the length of the court and made a play for us when we needed it,” he said. “He took it on himself to make it or break it for us.”
Still, when it came to their elimination in the semifinals of the City Championships, falling to Sir Wilfred Laurier was not horrible, Crainic said.
“It’s wasn’t a bad loss,” he said. “It was a good showing because the guys never quit.”
With the sun setting on his high school basketball career, Crainic looks to catch on with his post secondary school’s team when the sun rises next.
He’s looking at U of T and University of Ottawa as possible landing pads for his kinesiology studies.
James said he’ll be missed.
“He’s done so much for our school in the four years that he’s been here,” he said.