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Senior Spotlight 2021: Gabbie Francis

In our new series, senior spotlights we are excited to share with you features on VK Basketball's class of 2021 high school grads, all of whom have plans to continue their basketball careers while at post-secondary this fall. These seniors had many things taken away from them and we are excited to take this opportunity to celebrate them and all of their accomplishments. We hope you will follow along as we share them with you!

"I wanted to quit after the first half of the first game, but that wasn't an option, so I just had to power through." Recalls Gabbie Francis, an Argyle 2021 graduate, when she had two league games back to back. Francis loves basketball and is willing to push through extreme challenges to keep playing. She is a determined athlete who contributes most of her time and talent to one of her biggest passions: basketball.

Photo supplied by Gabbie

Next year Francis will be switching jerseys as she starts her new basketball adventure at Carleton University in Ottawa. Due to the pandemic, she never got the opportunity to visit the Carleton campus or meet any of her teammates in person. However, this will change in a few short weeks as she heads across the country for preseason training. "I know it will be a lot thrown at me, but at the end of the day, I am more excited than nervous", says Francis.

When asked for a piece of advice to give younger players, she says to not follow in her footsteps and to take weight lifting seriously early in your career. You can always find her lightening the mood in practice, on team trips, or before a game in the changeroom with her contagious sense of humor and laughter, which is how many of her most memorable moments are made.

A considerable presence throughout her basketball career has been Anthony Beyrouti, both her high school and club coach. Francis excelled under his coaching style and says, "he has pushed me to be an all-around better player and version of myself for the past five years and was never afraid to use some tough love, which I needed!" The feeling is mutual, and when asked about her, Anthony said: "There is only one Gabbie Francis! Her commitment from day one to be a great teammate and leader has been outstanding. I couldn't be happier with her university selection and think Coach Sinclair will push her to fulfill her tremendous potential both on and off the court. Expectations at Carleton are high, and I expect Gabbie to deliver and help them to continue the great tradition they already have. Gabbie has pushed me to be a better coach and adapt, and I want to thank her. Her commitment to the game and joy for life comes from her wonderful and exceptionally supportive parents. The future is bright, even if it is in Ottawa!"

One of the main factors as to why she chose Carleton was their academic opportunities aligned with her career goals. She will begin studying political science and economics in the fall with the hopes of one day pursuing a government-based career.

Francis learned the importance of time management throughout high school, which will be a crucial skill in her university transition. Gabbie is genuinely a versatile player and will be ready to handle anything thrown at her next year, both academically and athletically.

Check back tomorrow for a feature on another VK class of 2021 grad!

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