A local man has earned a place in the B.C. Basketball Hall of Fame.
Bill Lynes, who has retired out in Christina Lake, was inducted into the hall of fame for his years of refereeing basketball on many levels.
“I refereed everything from beginners, little boys and girls up to senior men, I didn’t go into the NBA, but I was a member of FIBA (international basketball federation),” he said, adding that he refereed a few games for the Harlem Globetrotters in Vancouver.
Lynes also officiated at the college level at UBC and Simon Fraser University.
“Back in those days, we had about 75 or 80 referees and we did all of the basketball in the Lower Mainland; high school, college, junior college, senior men, senior women,” he said. “I did about 120 games a year on average.”
He joins five other officials who have been given the honour.
Lynes began officiating in 1948, while in high school and also played on the Trail high school team that went to the B.C. Championship in 1951.
He then went to Calgary Tech for two years where he played for the college team, as well as coached the women’s team.
After that Lynes returned to Trail for a few years before heading to the coast in 1957.
He got in with the Vancouver and District Basketball Association and refereed there from 1957 until 1978.
“I retired from basketball in ’78 because I hurt my back and wasn’t able to run,” he said. “The fellow that managed the wheelchair basketball team in Vancouver, the Vancouver Cable Cars, he found out I wasn’t refereeing anymore and asked if I’d like to coach their basketball team.”
Lynes agreed and coached from ’78 to ‘81.
“I coached the Canadian Wheelchair basketball team in the Paralympics in 1980 in Holland,” he said.
Lynes said that there were two players on that team that are pretty well known: Rick Hanson and Terry Fox.
Hanson is known for his Man in Motion World Tour, when in 1985 he wheeled 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries.
Fox is well-known for his cross-Canada run to raise awareness and money for cancer research but because Fox was an amputee, he wasn’t eligible to play in the Paralympics at the time. Hanson could play though.
“He (Fox) started his run about a month or so before we went to Holland, because once he found out he wasn’t eligible to go for (the Paralympics) he got things organized,” Lynes said. “We were out to wish him well when he took off back east.”