« Women’s Basketball 2017-18

Vionise Pierre-Louis

School

University of Oklahoma

Position
Center
Major
Arts and Sciences Planned Program - Pre-medicine

Classroom

Pierre-Louis, or ViVi as she is known on the Norman campus, has excelled in the classroom. Her major is one that allows the student to build a degree program based on long-term goals. Her program is packed with science classes needed for a pre-medicine program. As an example, she is currently enrolled in two physics labs and cell biology as she prepares for the final year of her OU playing career. She has been named to the Big 12 All-Academic First Team as a sophomore and junior and was named to the Big 12 All-Academic rookie team as a true freshman. She has been named to the President’s Honor Roll (4.00 GPA) once and was selected for the Dean’s Honor Roll (3.50-3.99 GPA) three times. She has recorded a 3.00 GPA or better in nine of the 10 semesters (including summer school) she has been enrolled. Those grades come with a schedule that is packed with science classes and labs. She is a six-time Sooner Scholar and has been named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll five times. Following the completion of her undergraduate degree, Pierre-Louis plans to go to medical school to become an OB/GYN and practice in countries like Haiti where health care for women and prenatal care are often hard to find.

Character

Perhaps the easiest category to address, it also is the hardest. It is nearly impossible to capture the spirit of this easy-going, committed, grateful leader of the Sooner basketball team. As she has developed on the court with her commitment to personal excellence and hard work, she has matured off the court. She has gone from a quiet freshman to a none-to-shy senior leader who isn’t afraid to ask questions when she sees something that she believes isn’t right. She is passionate about her commitment to service, and she brings her teammates along with her, literally and figuratively. She is quick to talk about situations when things were difficult as she was growing up and how she got through those times because of the involvement of others in her life. It is a debt she is anxious to repay and one that fuels her efforts on a daily basis. In a group of leaders, she is more than willing to challenge the discussion if she has concerns about its direction. She is proof positive of what can happen in a person’s career when she is willing to put in the effort. She truly is a walking role model for younger players. She understands that she controls her destiny and she is not afraid to own up to that responsibility. More importantly, she isn’t shy about discussing it with anyone who will listen. Finally, she is quick to share the lessons she has learned with her teammates.

Community

It truly is difficult to separate character from community for this Sooner. The daughter of native Haitians, she has devoted herself to that tiny country since arriving in Norman. And that is just part of her commitment to people, whether they are in Norman or in another country. The Sooner basketball team has been part of an annual trip to Haiti since before Pierre-Louis arrived. She has made the trip every year since coming to Norman. She takes stuffed luggage, filled with clothing she has collected to take to Haiti to share with the children and adults she encounters. When her bags are filled, she reaches out to teammates to make sure nothing is left behind. Once a semester, she does another collection, then boxes the donations up and sends them to Haiti. With her parents coming from Haiti and her lifelong goal of helping people in Haiti and third-world countries, she believes it was destiny for her to sign with a school that began making these trips in 2010. She also is very active in the volunteer work the team does throughout the year, including an annual “Uncommon Service Week.” As someone who got through tough situations early in life because of other people who were there to help, it is her goal to be that person for someone else. One year saw the Sooners visiting a children’s hospital, working at area food pantries and interacting with participants at an elder adult daytime care center.

Competition

As of nomination time, Pierre-Louis had played in 97 games (of 99 on the schedule, 98%). She earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors in 2017 and was the Big 12’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2016. As a junior, she appeared in 33 games. She finished the year averaging 11.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. She recorded a career-high 71 blocks and shot 50 percent or better from the field in 19 of 33 games. She led the team in field goal shooting with a career-best 52.4%, set the OU single-game record for blocks in a NCAA Tournament game with nine and set a career high with 33 points.

As a sophomore, she played in 33 games and finished third in the Big 12 with a .577 shooting percentage. She ranked first on the team with 51 blocks. She fell one make short of the Big 12 record for consecutive made field goals with a streak of 15 consecutive. As a true freshman and coming off a serious knee injury suffered as a high school senior, she played in 31 of 33 games. None of her first-year numbers would have pointed to the numbers she posted in her next two years. She averaged 4.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in 10.4 minutes per game. She shot .495 from the field and .508 from the free throw line. She led the team with 22 blocks and set career highs in points and boards when it mattered the most, the NCAA Tournament.