Kathy Shields remembers as a teen going to the old site of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame at the PNE and marvelling at “these famous names like Joe Kapp and Willie Fleming and thinking what a huge honour it is to be in this hall.”
Now, she will have membership privileges.
Shields, along with husband and fellow University of Victoria basketball coaching legend Ken Shields, will join those former Lions football stars and other B.C. sporting greats in the hall’s current home at B.C. Place as part of the induction Class of 2013.
This year’s induction class was announced Tuesday by Hall of Fame member Tom Larscheid during a news conference held at B.C. Place. The 45th annual induction ceremonies will take place Sept. 19 at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre.
Joining Ken and Kathy Shields in being honoured that night will be Kevin Alexander of Victoria, one of the most naturally gifted goal scorers in the history of lacrosse; three-time Ironman Hawaii world champion Peter Reid of Victoria; and 25-year LPGA veteran Dawn Coe-Jones of Lake Cowichan.
The other inductees for 2013 are Olympic-medallist swimmer Brent Hayden of Mission; the 31-times capped Canadian rugby legend Ro Hindson of Penticton; former Vancouver Canucks player, coach, GM and president Pat Quinn; and Larry Kwong of Vernon, the first player of Asian descent to play in the NHL and also the first player from the Okanagan to do so.
Going into the Hall in the team category is the 1965 Ocean Falls Swim Club, the small-town team that produced several Olympians. Larry Isaac of Coquitlam is this year’s media inductee for his 35-year career as producer of numerous CBC Olympic and Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts and of CKVU’s trail-blazing Sports Page.
Being inducted together in the builders’ category makes it all the more satisfying for Ken and Kathy Shields, after whom the floor at UVic’s McKinnon Gym is named.
“It just wouldn’t have seemed right going in without Ken,” said Kathy.
“He has been my mentor. This is a huge honour. Going in with Ken makes it extra special.”
Ken coached UVic to seven consecutive CIAU (now CIS) national men’s basketball titles in the 1980s, while Kathy guided the UVic women’s team to eight national titles.
“I would like to thank all the players whose performances I’m being rewarded for,” said Ken Shields, who also coached the Canadian men’s national team to within one win of qualifying for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and into the quarter-finals of the 1994 FIBA world championships.
“It’s all their sweat and effort. It’s ironic Kathy and I get the recognition based on the performances of our players.”
It can’t be denied, however, that the couple’s sheer genius for analyzing and cerebrally dissecting the game of basketball had more than just a little bit to do with it.
“All my mentors — from my first coaches in Masset to later Ron Adams, Del Harris and Rick Majerus — hold special places in my heart,” said Ken Shields, who was also assistant coach for the Australian men’s team at the 2004 Athens Olympics and assistant for the host British women’s team at the 2012 London Games.
“I picked the brains of the best basketball coaches in the world.”
Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash of Victoria, who grew up watching the Shamrocks, has said Alexander is one of his top-five favourite athletes of all time.
Alexander, now a welding instructor at Camosun College, took the Hall of Fame accolade in stride.
“This [B.C. Sports Hall of Fame] is quite a place and it’s an honour to be recognized provincially,” he said.
“When people come up to me on the street and say it was a pleasure watching me play, I say I gained just as much pleasure playing for them as they did watching.”
Such was the dominance of Victoria’s Reid that the lean but sinewy triathlete won three Ironman Hawaii world titles and also placed second three times and captured bronze once from 1998 to 2005 in the most iconic endurance event on the planet. His personal best of 7:51:56 is the third-fastest Ironman time ever clocked. Reid was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and is now a pilot.
Coe-Jones, 52, came out of Lake Cowichan to claim more than $3 million in career earnings from 1984 to 2008 to become one of the earliest Canadian impact players on the LPGA Tour. She was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 2003.
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