A few years ago, Olivia Gourdine and her family rode with Dave Whiteside to the University of Rhode Island to watch Dave’s daughter and Olivia’s former Barnstable basketball teammate Carly Whiteside play for the University of Vermont.
At the game, Gourdine recalled Dave Whiteside turned to her and said, “You’ll be out there playing at that level someday.”
Those words stuck with her and resonated with even more power after Whiteside died suddenly at the age of 61 in December 2019 following a bout with pneumonia.
“Dave was always my biggest supporter, growing up during travel basketball,” Gourdine said. “He’d always be in the front row at every game during my freshman year, rooting for Carly and me. Dave was a great man and I miss him a lot. ”
For her dedication to her team, her sportsmanship and her basketball acumen, Gourdine was named the 2022 winner of the annual Dave Whiteside Scholarship, presented by his daughter Carly and voted on by a committee of Whiteside’s friends and family. The scholarship is $ 1,250.
“When we defined the scholarship, Olivia checked all of the boxes,” said Carly Whiteside. “She’s a hard worker, a leader, a good citizen, and someone who puts others before herself. That was really what my dad was all about. ”
Dave Whiteside had a successful college basketball career
Dave Whiteside developed his love for the game while growing up in Ormond Beach, Florida, before moving up to Dewitt, New York, while in high school, when his dad was transferred with the General Electric Company.
He became a standout basketball player at Jamesville Dewitt High School in New York and then moved on to the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
He crafted an exceptional career at Greensboro where, in 1981, he led the nation with a 91% foul shooting percentage. In 2012, he was inducted into the UNCG Basketball Hall of Fame. He was named to the university’s athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
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Upon moving to the Cape, Whiteside served as an assistantcoach with the Cape Cod Bulls Girls AAU team for seven years, which is where he first met Gourdine and also followed his daughter Carly through her 1,000-point career at Barnstable High.
Gourdine, a four-year member of the Barnstable varsity basketball team, captained the playoff-qualifying squad last season averaging 18 points and 14 rebounds per game. She was twice named a Boston Globe Player of the Week, was an All-Scholastic honorable mention of that publication and was named a Cape and Islands League All-Star for three years.
She also had a pair of games where she scored more than 30 points in a game, including a career-high 33 points against Nauset and 31 against Brockton.
“She just became a complete player for us this past season,” said first-year Barnstable hoop coach Julia Ryan. “She had always been an offensive threat, but this past year her defense has really improved and her ability to be a leader on the team has increased so much.”
Ross Jatkola, who was Gourdine’s varsity coach her first three seasons, praised her dedication and daily work ethic.
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“She’s one of the best people I’ve probably ever worked with,” Jatkola said. “She was one of the hardest workers I have had in any sport I’ve coached, at any level, and was naturally going to progress because of how hard she worked.”
That same work ethic and dedication caught the eyes of the coaching staff at Roger Williams University where she will matriculate next year to play basketball.
“I fell in love with the campus the first time I stepped foot on it,” Gourdine said. “They’ve got such an incredible basketball program and such great academics too. I’m looking forward to continuing my career, academically as well as basketball-wise, there. “
First-generation college student
A first-generation college student in her family, the Whiteside Scholarship will be quite beneficial as Gourdine plans to study either psychology or elementary education, with a plan to perhaps someday become a coach.
“That scholarship means the world to me since neither of my parents had the chance to go to college,” she said. “Just being nominated for it by Carly, her family and her peers, has been absolutely incredible.”
Carly Whiteside will begin her senior season in the fall at the University of Vermont where she has been an America East Academic Honor Roll athlete with the Catamounts.
“It’s been great over the years to see Olivia grow into a great player,” said Carly White. “Now she’s moving on to play at the college level and is a great recipient of this award because she contains all of the qualities that we drew out for it.”
Jatkola, who has sent many of his football players to play at the college level, thinks Gourdine will be a great representative of the school as she moves on to play in college.
“She’s an unbelievable human being, first and foremost,” he said. “Roger Williams is a great fit for her and it’s a level of basketball that she can be very successful at.”
Mike Richard can be contacted by email at email@example.com.