Gino Sovran enjoyed an illustrious, historically significant basketball career with Assumption College and the University of Detroit. He played professionally for the Toronto Huskies.
Sovran was born on December 17, 1924 in Windsor.
At Kennedy Collegiate, Sovran was an All-City basketball player and a star track and field athlete between 1937 and ’42.
Following graduation, he began his Assumption College career under Hall of Fame Coach Stanley “Red” Nantais. In the 1942-43 season, he led Assumption’s 14-9 basketball team with 268 points. He recorded 19 points in one memorable single game at a time when basketball produced significantly lower scores. The following season, Sovran was named Captain. His 362 points (including a high game of 24 points) were enough to see him repeat as leading scorer. Assumption struggled somewhat that year, submitting a 12-17 record.
In 1944-45, Sovran had his strongest season to date as Assumption played to a 17-6 record. He tallied 370 points in a campaign that saw him record eight games of 22 or more points and a high game of 27 points. Sovran scored exactly 1,000 points during his three-year career. He was the first Assumption player ever do to so.
With his one remaining year of eligibility, Sovran enrolled at the University of Detroit to test himself against NCAA competition. Sovran led the Titans in scoring with 204 points in 23 games, including a high game of 17 points. He became only the fourth University of Detroit player to break 200 points and received an Honourable Mention for the Detroit Free Press Michigan All-State Team.
At the end of the 1945-46 season, Sovran was allowed to rejoin Assumption College for the Canadian Senior “A” playoffs. Led by Sovran, Assumption defeated the Toronto Simpsons Grads to win the Ontario title. Sovran’s team went on to sweep past Montreal YMHA and overcome Halifax HMCS Stadacona to also capture the Eastern Canadian Championship. Assumption faced off against the Victoria Dominoes in a best-of-five series for the Canadian Championship. Unfortunately, it was one hurdle too far for Sovran and his teammates: Assumption fell three games to zero.
Sovran, at this point enrolled in the Cooperative Engineering program, moved to Toronto for a 12-week work experience placement in 1946. While living in Toronto, he played for the newly formed Toronto Huskies in the Basketball Association of America, which would later evolve into the NBA. Sovran and his former Assumption teammate Hank Biasatti were the only two Canadians to play for the Huskies during their first and only season. Sovran played a total of six games for Toronto, including a debut experience against the Boston Celtics.
He was inducted into the University of Windsor Alumni Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.