Canadian Basketball Hall of Famer Eli Pasquale, a two-time Olympian who played at four world championships over his career, has died. He was 59.
Pasquale, a native of Sudbury, Ont., died Monday from cancer, Canada Basketball said in a release.
Pasquale led Canada to a fourth-place finish at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He returned to the Games four years later in Seoul and helped Canada to a sixth-place showing.
“Canada has lost one of its greatest athletes,” former teammate Dwight Walton said on Twitter. “A WINNER and a CLASS ACT in every sense of the word. I was PROUD to call him a TEAMMATE and more importantly, a FRIEND. Eli Pasquale has passed away. My sincerest condolences to his Family and Friends. May he Rest in Peace.”
Pasquale led the University of Victoria to five consecutive national championships from 1980-84.
He was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the fifth round of the 1984 NBA Draft and played three pre-season games for the team before being released. He later played pro basketball in Argentina, West Germany and Switzerland.
After a five-year absence from the national team, Pasquale returned at age 37 to play in the 1997 Tournament of the Americas, helping Canada qualify for the 1998 world championship.
Pasquale, who represented Canada at the Pan Am Games on two occasions, was inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.
He is survived by wife Karen, sons Isiah and Manny, brother Vito, sister Luciana and mother Adriana. Funeral arrangements were pending.
The Canadian Press