Inductee Information

Jim Downey


Induction Category

Coach, Founder, Program Builder

A true builder of high school basketball in Manitoba, he began teaching
at Isaac Newton in mid-season in 1952. He was faced with a tremendous
challenge; all the best basketball players at Isaac Newton were playing
junior basketball with the Winnipeg Light Infantry (WLI) or the
Stellars, teams which had won National Junior Championships.

Undeterred, he proceeded to build a programme, and in just one
year, he took the Isaac Newton "Nor'Wester's" to the finals of the
Winnipeg School Division Championship, losing to Daniel McIntyre. In
1955 and 1957, his teams were Provincial High School Champions. In
1956, they were Provincial Finalists.

His greatest qualities were two-fold: his capacity for work
and his ability to involve others. Jim spent countless hours not only
working with players in the off season, but also helping them deal with
school and personal issues during the season.

Jim encouraged his players to get involved in coaching. Two of
his former players coached the 1958 and 1960 Sisler Provincial
Championship teams. Vic Pruden coached the 1958 team and Gerry Dragan
coached the 1960 team.

Although no longer coaching, Jim continued to build basketball
in Manitoba. He was a founder of the Fort Garry Invitational Tournament (FGIT) and Winnipeg Invitational Tournament (WIT), two of the most prestigious high school tournaments in
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