Wheelchair Basketball Represented at 2017 Toronto Sport Hall of Honour Induction

Wheelchair Basketball Athlete Adam Lancia and Coach Jerry Tonello Recognized by Toronto Sport Hall of Honour

(Ottawa, Ont.) Wheelchair Basketball Canada congratulates two-time Paralympic gold medallist Adam Lancia and beloved wheelchair basketball coach Jerry Tonello on being part of the Toronto Sport Hall of Honour induction class of 2017. The induction ceremony took place on yesterday at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

After representing Canada on the world stage at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, this native of Scarborough is being recognized as the male Para-Athlete of the Year. Lancia retired in 2017 but played with the Senior Men’s National Team for 15 years and is a four-time Paralympian and one-time world champion. He helped push the team to Paralympic gold in 2004 and 2012, Paralympic silver in 2008 and a world championship title in 2006.

Late wheelchair basketball coach Jerry Tonello received the City of Sport Lifetime Achievement award. A native of Toronto, Ont., Tonello grew up as an all-around athlete in football, basketball and a number of other sports. He was introduced to wheelchair basketball by friends and started playing as an able-bodied player. He was a dominant big man on the court and played recreationally for many years. He began coaching in 1982.

Tonello served as head coach of the team from 2009 to 2015. He led the Canadian Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team to a gold medal and an undefeated record at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. He first joined the men’s national team program as an assistant coach in 1991, and he helped the Canadian team establish itself as an international powerhouse in wheelchair basketball.

Tonello passed away in 2016 and the Canadian wheelchair basketball community mourned the loss of one of its finest coaches and a tireless mentor.

Lancia and Tonello are among the 14 other athletes, coaches, builders and legends that will be inducted into the Toronto Hall of Honour. The 2017 inductees are:

  • Rosie MacLennan, Athlete of the Year
  • Andre De Grasse, Athlete of the Year
  • Victoria Nolan, Para-Athlete of the Year
  • Adam Lancia, Para-Athlete of the Year
  • Nerissa Pooran, Special Olympics Athlete of the Year
  • U of T Varsity Blues Women’s Volleyball, Team of the Year
  • Kristine Drakich, Coach of the Year
  • Chris Rudge, Builder
  • CIBC, Corporate Builder
  • Archie Allison, Spirit of Sport
  • Bobby Baun, Sport Legend
  • Bobbie Rosenfeld, Sport Legend
  • Ellen Burka, Sport Legend
  • Jerry Tonello, City of Sport Lifetime Achievement

About Toronto Sport Hall of Honour

The Toronto Sport Hall of Honour celebrates the exceptional contributions and accomplishments of those who have inspired and/or brought recognition to the City of Toronto through sport. Nominations from all levels of performance and ability are welcome. For more information about the Toronto Sport Hall of Honour, please visit http://toronto.ca/tshh.

About Wheelchair Basketball Canada

Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sport governing body responsible for the organization of the sport in Canada. It is a non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to excellence in the development, support and promotion of wheelchair basketball programs and services for all Canadians from grassroots to high performance. Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, competitive sport in which Canada is held in high esteem around the world for winning a combined six gold, one silver, and one bronze medal in the last seven Paralympic Games. For more information, please visit www.wheelchairbasketball.ca.