Burnaby loses a sports pioneer

Bill Popowich -
Bill Popowich
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Bill Popowich, a Burnaby native who played in the first British Columbia high school boys basketball tournament and was as one of its organizers well into his retirement years, passed away at the age of 83 Tuesday.

Popowich was on the Burnaby South squad that played in the first provincial tournament in 1946, and had been part of every tourney since 1957.

He coached high school hoop in New Westminster and during that time became involved in the running of it at the zone and provincial levels. Popowich was made an honourary life member of the B.C. High School Boys Basketball Association in 1990.

As a youth Popowich was also a star soccer player and was part of the Westburn youth soccer association for more than two decades, as well as helping organize the provincial high school boys soccer tournament when it was held in Burnaby.

In addition, Popowich gave more than 40 years of service to track and field, and he has had two high school trophies named after him.

Popowich was inducted into the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

A celebration of life will be held at the Riverway Golf Couse Clubhouse, 9001 Bill Fox Way, Burnaby, on Sunday, March 2 at 2:30 p.m.

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