Michele O’Keefe, President and CEO of Canada Basketball, is proud to see these two inductees receive some much-deserved recognition. “Jim and George were great players on the court and wonderful people off of it. I am proud that their dedication to the game and their commitment to this country will forever be remembered with a place alongside Canada’s basketball legends.”
Zoet is a former NBA player, born in Uxbridge, ON. His college career consisted of playing both in the USA for Kent State University and in Canada for Lakehead University. The “Big Man” played for the then Lakehead Norwesters for two seasons (1976-77 and 1977-78) where he averaged 19 points per game and led the team to its only CIAU national championship game. He was a CIAU All-Canadian in his two seasons at Lakehead. Zoet went on to become a member of the 1980 Canadian Olympic men’s team, saw short service in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons and then went on to play professionally in the Netherlands, England, Argentina, Mexico and the Philippines.
Stulac, a two-time Olympic basketball team member, played in the 1956 and 1964 Games. His career also saw him play for the Toronto Tri-Bells and Tillsonburg Livingstons where he played on dominant championship teams.
Zoet and Stulac have provided a lasting legacy to the landscape of the sport in Canada. Their contributions to the game run deeper than the medals and accolades they received. The induction of these two players to the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame is in part recognition of their service to Canada, but also in thanks for helping shape this country as a nation of basketball.
The 2015 Canada Basketball President’s Award is awarded to Art Rutledge.
A long-time supporter of the Canadian basketball community, Art has dedicated years of commitment to the development and growth of the game in Canada.
As head coach of a very successful high school program at Silverthorn Collegiate, Art has led the school to become a perennial powerhouse for high school basketball in the GTA for many years.
His coaching prowess also had him head coach a number of very successful senior men’s basketball teams that appeared in Canadian Senior basketball championships and Senior World Masters Championships.
During 1997-2001, Art served as the President of Basketball Canada and led the organization to fiscal and administrative re-structuring, while seeing success on the court leading both the men’s and women’s programs to the Sydney Olympics and many international successes.
Organizer of countless tournaments, events and fundraisers, Art continues to be an ambassador of every facet of basketball in Canada. His contributions and commitment to excellence both on and off the court have provided incredible building blocks for many in the Canadian basketball community.