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Former UVic basketball broadcaster Guy MacPherson dies at 61

Guy MacPherson provided commentary for CFUV, the University of Victoria's campus radio station, between 1985 and 1990.
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Guy MacPherson, known for his coverage of the University of Victoria Vikes basketball dynasty of the 1980s, died last week of cancer at the age of 61.

MacPherson provided the colour commentary to Jack Showers’ play-by-play for campus station CFUV between 1985 and 1990 in the pre-internet period when radio was the only way to follow teams on the road. The UVic Vikes of that era — featuring the likes of Olympians Eli Pasquale, Gerald Kazanowski, Greg Wiltjer and other national teamers such as Kelly Dukeshire — used to fill McKinnon Gym with fans that followed the team avidly at home and away.

MacPherson was known for his dry yet piercing wit in covering the team that won seven consecutive national championships. He was presented a UVic Vikes jersey, signed by the current team, in his room last week at Vancouver General Hospital.

“Guy did a great job on the colour as a student broadcaster,” said former UVic head coach Ken Shields, who guided the Vikes to their seven consecutive national titles. “He was very articulate and bright, and had a good feel for basketball. He contributed greatly to creating an image for our team in the community. Guy and Jack were so dedicated and did a great job in those days.”

Victoria radio station CJVI, with Jim Leith calling the play, also later broadcast Vikes games. But the impression of the team moulded by MacPherson and Showers stuck the initial communal chord among the team’s fans.

MacPherson graduated from UVic with a degree in English and philosophy, and was a noted writer across a broad range of topics, from the NBA Vancouver Grizzlies to comedy clubs. His articles appeared in several B.C. and national publications.

MacPherson is survived by his wife and former Vikes runner Liz Jones, their son and second-year UVic student Louis, and MacPherson’s sisters, Andrea and Angela.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com