Canadian Hoops – Eli Pasquale
Full name: Ilario Enrico “Eli” Pasquale
Height: 6’1″ (185 cm)
Weight: 220 lbs (100 kg)
Born: August 24, 1960 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Is there a more iconic sports figure in Victoria BC than Eli Pasquale? Seriously!
Before Steve Nash came around Canadian basketball and the sport of basketball on the West Coast was changed by one man.
Pasquale who led his University of Victoria team to five straight National Championships and led Team Canada for over 15 years – during two Olympic Games, three basketball World Championships and two Pan-American Games.
At the height of just 6’1” tall, Eli Pasquale is the University of Victoria’s All-Time leading scorer; he was inducted to the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 and to the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
Pasquale grew up in Sudbury, Ontario – a hockey hotbed where he dabbled but did not excel at the sport. Height has never stood in his way – Pasquale led his high school team in Grade 10 at the height of 5’3”!
It was his move to the West Coast and the University of Victoria however that saw his stock as an athlete and a mentor rise.
He was part of and a leader of a University of Victoria team that dominated the Nation while he was there.
From college, Pasquale continued to defy the odds by being drafted into the NBA in 1984 – 106th overall by the Seattle SuperSonics. He would continue to play ball and eventually received an invitation to try out for the Chicago Bulls.
Professional Basketball in North America wouldn’t be his path.
Not to be denied, Eli took his talents abroad, landing in the Argentinean league for the 1986 season, the West German league in 1989 and the Swiss league in 1990.
It was during this time that Pasquale cemented his legend in Canada by leading his underdog team to a fourth in the 1984 Olympics and the 1982 FIBA World Championships and leading Canada to an upset win in the gold medal game at the World University Games in 1983.
Fast forward to the present – Pasquale is still very active in the sport that made him the man he is today.
He has run the Eli Pasquale Camps for youth since 1985 all over the Capital region – at Christmas, in the spring and all summer long.
These camps bring skill development and fun to those basketball enthusiasts lucky enough to attend. He is also a motivational speaker and an uber-active member in the community that brought him fame and success.
Against many odds, Eli Pasquale was and remains a Victoria legend!
Note: He also coached our Managing editor “Q” for 1 year at St. Andrew’s High School in Victoria, “or so he says”.