Born in Nanaimo in 1960 to Polish immigrants, Gerald Kazanowski began playing basketball when he was in Grade 6 at Harwood elementary. He focused more on basketball in middle school at John Barsby, then went on to Nanaimo District Senior Secondary (NDSS). Gerald had talent and he was named the Most Valuable Player in the 1978 BC High School Provincial Basketball Tournament - although he admits his brothers were better than him in high school. NDSS won the BCs and were ranked Number One in Canada, losing only once all year to an Australian all-star team.
Gerald was recruited to play university basketball for the UVic Vikes, where he was a member of four consecutive CIAU championship teams, 1980 through 1983; his first year at UVic they placed second. He was named a three-time CIAU All-Canadian and was a two-time recipient of the Premier's Athletic Award. He graduated with a degree in economics and was drafted in the seventh round of the 1983 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz (his name was listed as Joe Kazanowski).
A 6-foot, 9-inch center/forward, Gerald first played for Canada’s national team at the 1979 Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) World Junior Championships. He played in three World University Games, 1981, '83, and '85. He started on the Canadian team that won Gold at the 1983 World University Games in Edmonton, defeating the United States - led by Karl Malone and Charles Barkley - in the semi-finals and Yugoslavia in the final. He participated in three FIBA World Championships, 1982, 1986, and 1990. He also played against the original “Dream Team” at the 1992 FIBA Tournament of the Americas. Gerald played in two Olympic Games. In Los Angeles in 1984, Canada finished just outside the medals in fourth place, and was sixth in 1988 in Seoul.
Gerald went on to play professionally from 1984 through 1992 with stops for clubs in Spain (Joventut in Badelona and Baloncesto LeÃn), Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Argentina and Mexico. He says that he was fortunate with great coaches all along the way, from Sherry to Wright to Arnold to Levering to Shields to Donahue and many overseas.
He was inducted into the Naismith Museum and Hall of Fame in 2005 and Basketball BC Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2008, he was inducted into the Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame and his UVic Vikes jersey, #24, was retired in 2011.
Gerald retired from professional basketball in 1992 and by 1993 he was immersed in the financial advisory business. He has his office in Sidney and lives in North Saanich with his wife of 20 years, Claudia, and their two daughters, Sarah and Grace. He enjoys spending his free time volunteering at schools, giving talks on how sports and goal setting can positively affect kids’ lives. “I love Vancouver Island and this area, and I feel blessed to live here. Many good things go on here and there’s a real sense of community,” he says.
SPONSORED BY UVIC VIKES
A native Victorian, Bob Moffatt was inspired by many of the early Hall of Fame inductees to become involved in sports. He excelled at soccer and was named a BC All-Star as a member of the winning Provincial Championship team, the Oak Bay Optimists. However, sometimes it pays to listen to your mother who suggested he stick with tennis. By the age of 12, he had won his first tournament and fallen in love with a sport that would consume him for close to five decades. His second home became the Victoria Lawn Tennis Club where he could be found hitting the ball from dawn to dusk.
By the age of 15, Bob was the BC Junior Champion, won the U16 Canadian Championship and made it to the final of the U18. Later, he played for the national team, competing internationally before moving into coaching and sport administration.
He became the first Executive Director of Tennis BC (1983-1985); was Tournament Director of the 1987 Federation Cup (Women’s World Team Championship) and then became the President and CEO of the BC Games Society. These experiences led to his appointment as President and CEO of Tennis Canada in 1988. Not only did he play a key role in the transformation of the Rogers Cup (Canadian Open Tennis Championships) into one of the world’s premier tennis events, but he also led an outstanding team in the development of world-class training and tournament facilities in Montreal (Stade Uniprix) and Toronto (Rexall Centre). It was due to Bob’s leadership that Tennis Canada was able to invest major resources into developing the sport of tennis across the country.
After 16 years at Tennis Canada, Bob retired and moved back to Victoria where he offered his expertise by consulting for PacificSport Victoria, primarily working on the new 80,000 square foot sporting facility on the Camosun College (Interurban) Campus – the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE). In 2008, Bob became PISE’s first General Manager/Acting CEO, setting up its administrative structure and programs and guiding the new facility to financial stability over two years, until his departure in 2010. PISE has rapidly grown to be nationally recognized as a hub for high-performance sport training, sport education, research and innovation and community programming.
Bob still consults, providing strategic advice and guidance for charities, not-for-profit associations and provincial and national sport organizations. His volunteer work has included member of the Canadian Olympic Committee; member of the Rules Committee for the International Tennis Federation and President of the Sport for All Canada Society.
He was instrumental in laying the ground work for the future development of high performance and community sport in Victoria. An innovative builder, he has contributed to the enhancement of community life and been a valuable inspiration and mentor to many professionals and leaders. Those who have had the good fortune to work alongside Bob will continue his commitment to build a better environment for sport in Victoria and beyond.
SPONSORED BY PACIFIC INSTITUTE FOR SPORT EXCELLENCE