Clan to honour Stewardson

New Westminster
New Westminster's Stan Stewardson, former SFU men's basketball coach, will be honoured by the team during halftime of Saturday's home game.
— image credit: NewsLeader file photo

The Simon Fraser University men’s basketball team will honour former coach Stan Stewardson, a New Westminster resident, at Saturday night’s home opener.

Stewardson coached the Clan for nine seasons, 1975-1979 and 1984-1989. Among his charges were former Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano, now an assistant coach for the Portland Trail Blazers and national team coach, and Canadian hero Terry Fox.

Eleven of his players played for Canada and 16 went on to play professionally.

He has been inducted into the Basketball BC Hall of Fame and Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame.

The ceremony will take place at halftime of the Clan’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference opener against the Western Washington University Vikings, the defending NCAA Division II champions, which starts at 7:30 p.m.

Last week the Clan men split a pair of games at the Notre Dame de Namur Thanksgiving Classic in Belmont, Calif. They finished the tournament downing the host Argonauts 75-67 Saturday, a night after suffering their first loss of the season, 84-64 to the Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds. The Clan head into Saturday’s game sporting a 5-1 record in pre-season play.

• The men’s team also announced J.J. Pankratz, a star for Abbotsford’s Yale secondary, has signed a letter of intent to play for SFU.

“J.J. is one of the top players coming out of B.C. this year,” said Clan head coach James Blake in a press release. “He has had great coaching with the Basketball BC team and from his high school coach, Al Friesen. J.J. can play our wing spots in our secondary break offence because he can score in a number of ways off the bounce.”

Last season with Yale, Pankratz averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds and four assists per game. Pankratz’s father, John, played college basketball for Fresno Pacific, and is now principal at Yale.

On Tuesday, SFU announced guard Elijah Gillis-Gold had signed a letter of intent with the Clan.

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