One of the greatest honours to be bestowed upon athletes, coaches, and those who have promoted particular sports in Canada is to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

Naming its first inductees in 1978, the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame operates separately from the college and NBA-focussed Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The organizing body, Canada Basketball, only names those with close ties to Canada to its Hall of Fame. 

Here’s what you need to know about the prestigious Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, from its founding to the legends that are enshrined as the nation’s finest in the sport.

Founding of the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame

Even though the governing body, Canada Basketball, has been around since 1923, the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame didn’t welcome its first members until 1978.

Similarly to the Basketball Hall of Fame to the south, the first Canadian honourees list features Dr. James Naismith, the Ontario-born inventor of basketball. 

Alongside Dr. Naismith, the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame also honoured coach Dr. Percy Page as well as athlete Noel Robertson – known as the best female basketball player from Canada during her career.

Since then, over 50 people and teams have been immortalized by the Hall.

How to get into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame

To be eligible for nomination to the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, the person or team needs to meet one of the following qualifiers:

  • Born in Canada

  • Is a Canadian Citizen

  • Has been a Canadian resident for three years or more;

  • Has made a distinguished contribution to the sport in Canada.

Having met these, the person or team needs to achieve “an outstanding record of excellence,” doing so in the following ways per category:

  • Athletes: Participate at an elite level as an amateur or professional and achieve an outstanding amount of success.

  • Coaches: Develop and train basketball players to create an extraordinary contribution to international or Canadian basketball. 

  • Builders: Promote, advance, and develop the sport in Canada through outstanding contributions in any non-athlete role.

  • Officials: Showcase expertise as a referee at an elite level of the sport – nationally or internationally – and ideally contribute significantly to the development of officials in Canada.

  • Teams: Achieve results nationally or internationally that bring prominence to Canadian basketball with athletes that are representatives of Canadian locations or organizations.

Having ticked the relevant boxes, Canada Basketball will accept nominees into its Hall of Fame on an annual basis but won’t necessarily induct people or teams every year. 

Icons in the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame

One of the biggest names and stars of the sport in Canada got the nod to become further immortalized in the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022, with the 2021 and 2022 classes including Steve Nash. 

The two-time NBA MVP, eight-time All-Star, and current head coach of the Brooklyn Nets – the +1300 dark horses in the NBA odds to take the crown in 2023 – is often hailed as Canada’s greatest-ever male representative in the sport. 

Along with Nash, the latest group of inductees includes Angela Straub, Stewart Granger, Tony Simms, Rick Fox, builder John Bitove, and coach Michèle Bélange.  

They will join a long list of Canadian basketball legends. Some of the standout names that they’ll now feature alongside include the likes of Andrea Blackwell, Bill Wennington, Eli Pasquale, Todd MacCulloch, Joyce Slipp, Misty Thomas, Leo Rautins, Fred Thomas, Jay Triano, Olga Hrycak, the Edmonton Grads, and Hank Biasatti.

Active athletes making a case for the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame

Of all of the active players who could contend for a spot in the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, Andrew Wiggins surely looks to be the frontrunner.

Still only 27-years-old, the Toronto-born small forward was taken first overall in 2014 and continues to deliver in the NBA. 

While he did win Rookie of the Year with the Minnesota Timberwolves, it’s his move to the Golden State Warriors that looks to cement Wiggins’ legacy, winning the Championship in 2022 and at +600 in the betting to repeat in 2023.

Wiggins isn’t the only potential contender, though. Tristan Thompson is an NBA champion, and Chris Boucher is making a name for himself as a great defensive talent with the Toronto Raptors, having also featured on trophy-hoisting teams.

Already featuring all-time legends of the sport, there are many more contenders for a place in the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame who will likely get nominated in the coming years.

*Credit for all images in this article belongs to AP Photo*


FIRST PUBLISHED: 24th August 2022

Ben is very much a sports nerd, being obsessed with statistical deep dives and the numbers behind the results and performances.

Top of the agenda are hockey, soccer, and boxing, but there's always time for the NFL, cricket, Formula One, and a bit of mixed martial arts.