TORONTO, ON (May 30, 2022) – Canada Basketball is pleased to announce Stewart Granger (Player), Steve Nash (Player) and Angela (Johnson) Straub (Player), along with Michèle Bélanger (Coach), John Bitove (Builder), Rick Fox (Player), and Tony Simms (Player) will be inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame for the classes of 2021 and 2022, respectively.
“On behalf of Canada Basketball, and players, coaches and fans of our game across the country, I would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to each of our Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame inductees from both the classes of 2021 and 2022,” said Michael Bartlett, President & CEO of Canada Basketball. “To be enshrined in the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame is a great honour and each of this year’s inductees have made a lasting and unique impact at all levels of the sport.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to celebrate their careers and accomplishments in Toronto this July as part of GLOBL JAM and I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to wrap up what will truly be an unbelievable week of basketball," Bartlett said.
The Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place as part of a Legends Brunch in partnership with SLAM Canada, on Sunday, July 10, 2022 at Ricarda's Restaurant located in downtown Toronto. This will be followed by an on-court recognition of the inductees at the gold medal game of GLOBL JAM Fives, taking place at Mattamy Athletic Centre.
“The past few weeks have been nothing short of historic as we officially launched SLAM Canada, a special Canadian edition of SLAM and SLAM’s first-ever international magazine,” said Mark Starkey, Strategic Advisor and Board Member, SLAM. "While basketball continues to see unprecedented growth in Canada with record numbers of Canadians in the NBA, WNBA and across the NCAA, today’s success is built off the foundation that many of these inductees have built."
“SLAM Canada is honoured to partner with Canada Basketball on the Legends Brunch as we celebrate the legacy of basketball here at home by welcoming some of the game’s biggest names into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame,” Starkey said.
The Legends Brunch will be one of the culminating events of GLOBL JAM, a week-long celebration of basketball, community, and culture. Session passes (2 games) are on sale now via Ticketmaster. Additional ticket information, along with schedule and volunteer opportunities can be found at globljam.ca.
Since 1978, the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame has honoured and celebrated those who have contributed to the development and enhancement of basketball both in Canada and internationally.
CLASS OF 2021
One of the best point guards in Senior Men’s National Team history, Granger represented the country at the 1982 and 1990 FIBA World Championship for Men. Granger made history as the first Black Canadian to be drafted into the NBA when the Cleveland Cavaliers selected him 24th overall in the 1983 NBA Draft. In three seasons in the NBA, Granger appeared in 80 games for the Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks. Prior to the NBA, Granger spent four years at the Villanova University where he played in 125 games for the Wildcats and was a All-Big East Second Team selection in back-to-back seasons (1982, 1982) after being named to the Third Team in 1981. Originally from Montreal, Granger was a three-year starter and led the team in assists for three straight seasons.
Representing Canada internationally for over ten years, Nash is best remembered for leading the team to the quarter-finals of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In 2012, Nash returned to the team as the General Manager of the Senior Men's National Team. Selected 15th overall by Phoenix in the 1996 NBA Draft, Nash enjoyed a 19-year playing career in the NBA with the Suns (1996-1998, 2004-2012), Dallas Mavericks (1998-2004), and Los Angeles Lakers (2012-2015). Nash earned league MVP honors in back-to-back seasons (2005, 2006) with the Suns, becoming just the 10th player in NBA history to win the award in consecutive seasons and first Canadian to earn the prestigious Maurice Podoloff Trophy. An eight-time NBA All-Star (2002-2003, 2005-2008, 2010, 2012), Nash, a 6'3" point guard, was also a three-time All-NBA First Team member (2005-2007). Nash was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.
From 1972-77, Straub proudly represented Canada as a member of the Senior Women’s National Team at the 1973 World University Games in Moscow, the 1975 World Championship for Women in Cali, Colombia, the 1975 Pan Am Games in Mexico City and the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, where women’s basketball made its debut. Straub also led the University of Winnipeg Wesmen to the Provincial Senior Women’s Championship and Canadian Junior Women’s Championship in 1972, where she was recognized as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Following her career at the University of Winnipeg, she played in the senior league from 1978-1986 where she was a perennial all-star and top scorer at the National Championships in 1978. An award winner and all-star at every level of her career, Straub previously has been inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Manitoba Highschool Sports Hall of Fame.
CLASS OF 2022
A Canadian university coaching icon, Bélanger led the University of Toronto Varsity Blues women’s basketball program to 854 wins over 41 years after joining the team in 1979. An eight-time OUA Coach of the Year recipient, Bélanger guided the Varsity Blues to nine OUA championship titles, as well as the school’s only women's basketball national CIAU (U SPORTS) title in 1986. Internationally, she coached Canada at four FISU Universiade competitions, including a silver-medal finish at the 2015 FISU Games, in Gwangiu, Korea.
Lead founder / owner of the Toronto Raptors, Bitove is one of Canada’s most influential basketball executives. Bitove led the NBA franchise-bid process, launched the team in 1993 and was involved in the creation of the Air Canada Centre (now Scotiabank Arena). Bitove was also one of the driving forces behind bringing the 1994 World Championship for Men to Canada, the most notable international basketball tournament that Canada has hosted in the past 25 years. His efforts have directly led to a grassroots swell of amateur players across Canada who are making a significant impact in top leagues around the world. A passionate fan of the game, Bitove created the Raptors Foundation to help give back to disadvantaged youth and was the founding member of the Sixth Man Club for Canada Basketball men’s program.
One of Canada's first NBA stars, Fox remains today one of the country's most well-known players, both on and off the court. Internationally, Fox represented Canada on multiple occasions, including a 12th place finish at the 1990 World Championship for Men and seventh at home in Canada the 1994 World Championship for Men. Drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1st round (24th pick) of the 1991 NBA Draft, Fox appeared in 81 games his rookie season and was selected to the All-Rookie 2nd Team becoming the first Canadian to receive the honour. Fox would appear in 930 games over the course of his 13 seasons in the NBA with the Celtics and was a three-time NBA champion with the Lakers from 1999-2002.
Proudly representing Canada for 10 years, Simms was a key contributor for Canada at the 1983 World University Games and led the country to a historic gold medal on home soil in Edmonton. At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Simms led Canada to a fourth-place finish, which remains the highest finish for the men’s team at an Olympics since the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. He also represented Canada twice at the FIBA World Championships in 1982 and 1986. Selected by the New York Knicks in the 6th round (128th pick) of the 1983 NBA Draft, Simms would go on to play professionally in Spain, Philippines, Portugal, Belgium and Mexico. Collegiately, Simms played three years at Boston University, where he averaged 15.8 points per game and his 76 steals during the 1982-83 season remains a school record today.
For a complete list of Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame inductees, please visit basketball.ca.