Gage Larvadain: A two-sport rising star


Courtesy of Sam Leventhal

Gage Larvadain locking in on the sidelines before playoff game vs Florida A&M. Larvadain played both basketball and football from a young age.

Growing up in Donaldsonville, La., Gage Larvadain always seemed to have a basketball or football in his hand.

Larvadain recalled playing both sports at a very young age, not really having a favorite. 

“I played both of them my whole life. Whichever season came first, that’s which one I played first. And then after that I just couldn’t wait for the next season to come,” he said.

The love for hoops and the gridiron stayed with Larvadain throughout his youth, following him into his prep career.

Attending Riverside Academy from 2017-21, Larvadain shined on the court and the field through his four years of high school. His breakout campaign would come in his final year for the Rebels.

Larvadain operated as a do-it-all player for the Rebels, playing quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back, never coming out of the game.

While playing both ways, he accounted for over 2,400 yards of offense to go with 33 total touchdowns during his senior season.

This success granted him the player of the year honor in the New Orleans metro area for football as he helped lead his team to the state quarterfinals.

On the court, Larvadain was equally impressive. He averaged 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as Riverside reached the state semifinals.

His performances and leadership qualities garnered the attention of both head men for Southeastern, Coach Frank Scelfo and Coach David Kiefer.

Larvadain was offered a scholarship to play football for the Lions and a walk-on spot for the basketball team.

He jumped at the opportunity to represent the Green and Gold.

“There were three things on my college checklist, and Southeastern marked all three of them: I wanted my education to be free, to be able to play both sports and to not be too far away from my family,” he said.

Family means a lot to Larvadain and having them less than an hour from campus made Hammond, Louisiana a great choice.

SLU enjoyed a solid season of football in the fall of 2021, posting a 9-4 record and reaching the second round of the playoffs. The record-setting offense tore up the FCS all year and Larvadain played his part in it.

In just his first season of collegiate ball, Larvadain made his presence known, posting 37 receptions for 521 yards and five touchdowns playing at receiver. He also served as the Lions’ return man taking a kickoff back 100 yards to the house against Nicholls State in Thibodaux, LA.  

Larvadain was asked to play a larger role once veteran wideout CJ Turner went down with an injury in the same game.

From that point on, he became a starter and never looked back, becoming a reliable target for quarterback Cole Kelley and the high-powered Southeastern attack en route to being named Southland Conference Freshman of the Year.

“God has blessed me with tremendous talent, coaches, teammates and guys who have put me in good positions. That award said Gage Larvadain on it but it’s an award for the whole football team, staff and organization,” Larvadain said.

Larvadain also was named to the All-Louisiana team as a return specialist averaging 26.6 yards per kickoff return.

With the football season behind him, Larvadain is looking forward to the current basketball season. The Green and Gold took home the inaugural Southland Conference Tip-Off tournament as Larvadain got his first taste of college basketball action.

He said, “It would be difficult for someone who really doesn’t enjoy playing both who just want to do it because they might think it’s cool. When you really enjoy and love what you do and love the people that you’re around, you wake up and can’t wait to go to practice or whatever you have to do that day. Time management is always difficult when you’re doing a lot of stuff. When you love to do something, you always find time for it.”