On August 24, 1960 in Sudbury, Ontario the world welcomed the arrival of Ilario Enrico Pasquale, better known as Eli in the basketball community. His first introduction to the sport was in Grade 8 at St. Francis School in the predominantly Italian neighborhood of Gatchell. By Grade 10 Eli had grown to 5' 3" and had developed an abiding passion and exceptional skills for the game at which he would come to excel.
By the time Eli arrived at the University of Victoria he was 6'1" and under the tutelage of coach, Ken Shields, he starred as the point guard for five years. The university team won five straight CIAU championships and Eli stood out as the all-time leading scorer. He was named to the CIAU all-star team three times.
Eli was a prominent member of the 1983 World University Games team that won the gold medal. They defeated the US team led by Charles Barkley and Karl Malone in the semi-finals, and then went on to win the final against Yugoslavia led by Drazen Petrovic.
Eli played for the Canadian Junior National team and went to Brazil for the World Junior Championships where the team won the gold medal. He was a member of the Canadian Men's National team at various levels over 15 years. He led them to a fourth place finish at both the 1984 Summer Olympics and 1982 FIBA World Championships. At age 37, after a five-year absence, he returned to the national team to play in the 1997 Tournament of the Americas to help the Canadians qualify for the 1998 FIBA World Championship.
Eli was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics 106th overall in the 5th round of the 1984 NBA draft, but only played in three exhibition games before being released. Later, he played in the Amateur Athletic Union for Seattle and the Los Angeles summer pro league. His professional career included playing for teams in Argentina in 1986, West Germany in 1989 and Switzerland in 1990.
In 1986 Eli set up the Eli Pasquale Group Inc. that was designed to work with all the recreational centres and School Districts in Greater Victoria. He started the Eli Pasquale Champion Academy and organized basketball programs and clinics for grades 6 and up. In the years since, he has helped thousands of youngsters in the sport of basketball.
In recognition of his superlative career, he has been inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame (2003), the B.C. Basketball Hall of Fame (2004), the University of Victoria Sports Hall of Fame (2005) and the Sudbury Ontario Sports Hall of Fame (2008).
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