Canadian Basketball Hall of Famer, two-time Olympian, and UVic Vikes basketball star Eli Pasquale has died of cancer at age 59.
Pasquale was born in Ontario in 1960 and started his basketball career by leading the University of Victoria Vikes team to five consecutive national championships from 1980 to 1984.
He went on to lead the Canadian national basketball team to a fourth place finish at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and a sixth place finish at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.
Pasquale’s star-studded career also included playing professionally in Argentina, West Germany and Switzerland, and representing Canada at two Pan American Games and four FIBA World Championships.
He was inducted in the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.
“I remember what a wonderful human being he was: we were both at UVic at the same time and shared classes. He was one of the elite athletes of his time, yet so approachable, always treating everyone as equals and of interest,” writes former Victoria mayor Dean Fortin.
“His success and talent never went to his sense of self – always there to help others, to advance the sport, to be concerned more about raising good citizens than great players, but always committed to excellence. I took a lot of his leadership to heart, and many did as well. Our community is stronger due to his contributions.”