Canadian Basketball Pioneers Olga Hrycak & Todd MacCulloch To Be Honoured

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Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame Welcomes 2017 Induction Class

TORONTO, ON (February 14, 2017) – Canada Basketball is pleased to announce that Olga Hrycak and Todd MacCulloch will be inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame.

“Both Olga and Todd have made significant contributions to the sport of basketball,” said Michele O’Keefe, President & CEO of Canada Basketball. “Their positive influences on the development of Canadian basketball can be seen through their professional careers as well as their community involvement. It is with great pride that Canada will witness these two dedicated individuals inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame.”

Throughout her 48-year career, Hrycak (Montreal, QC) consistently made Canadian history on and off the court.  As a pioneer for female coaches in basketball, in 1984 she became one of the first females to be part of a men’s Olympic coaching staff and she was the first female to be an assistant coach with the Canadian National Team (1985-1987). Hrycak was also the first woman in North America to lead a men’s university team, winning two provincial championships (2006 and 2010).

“I must acknowledge and express my appreciation to all the players, coaches and administrators who believed in me and helped me achieve my successes,” Hrycak said. “Also, to Canada Basketball and all those individuals responsible for my nomination for this prestigious recognition, please accept my deepest and sincere appreciation for your acknowledgment of my dedication to the game.”

Hrycak’s notable contributions to gender equality in sport management mirror her great successes as an educator, mentor and role model in her community. She has received numerous achievement awards for her talent as a coach and exceptional community involvement.

MacCulloch (Winnipeg, MB), currently recognized by the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame and Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, is one of the greatest centers in our country’s history. Representing the Canadian National Team 93 times, including the 2000 Olympic team, the seven-footer challenged many all-time records during his time at the University of Washington. He also became a household name in 1999 when he was drafted into the NBA by the Philadelphia 76ers. His career also saw him start for the New Jersey Nets.

“I was humbled and honoured when I heard the incredible news that I was going to be inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame,” said MacCulloch. “My ultimate goal as a high school basketball player in Manitoba was merely to make Canada’s National Team and compete in the Olympics.  To now be getting inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame is an unbelievable, incredible honour and one that I am immensely proud of.”

MacCulloch’s NBA career was cut short in 2003 after being diagnosed with a medical condition that affected his ability to play basketball professionally. Through this adversity, he continued to dedicate his vast knowledge and passion for the game by starting the Todd MacCulloch Hoop School Program – an initiative designed to teach basic basketball skills to inner city youth.

Both inductees will be honoured at The Sport Gallery in Toronto during a ceremony on May 18, 2017.

Courtesy Canada Basketball

Drew Ebanks