Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame Honours Acadia Alumni

(Wolfville, N.S.) - Nova Scotia will honour some of our finest Acadia athletes during its 2009 Sports Hall of Fame Induction this Saturday, November 7 at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax.

“Acadia has a long tradition of combining academic excellence with athletic achievement,” says Mr. Ray Ivany, Acadia’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “We are proud of the accomplishments of this year’s inductees – Brian Heaney (‘69), Bruce Beaton (‘92), and the 1976-1977 Acadia Axemen Basketball Team. On behalf of the Acadia community, I congratulate them on this impressive recognition from the Province of Nova Scotia.”

Acadia inductees for 2009:

Brian Heaney, an Acadia basketball star in the 1960s, held all school offensive records when he left Acadia, holds the AUS single game scoring record of 74 points (prior to the three-point basket), and his scoring average of 34.1 points per game in 1967-68 is still tops in the AUS. He was a two-time All-Canadian, and is the first person to win national basketball titles as a player (Acadia 1965) and coach (Saint Mary’s 1973). The Rockaway Beach, N.Y. native, now living in Wolfville is the athletic director at Acadia, a member of the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame and the Acadia Sports Hall of Fame. He was drafted by, and played with, Baltimore Bullets of the NBA. He is a two-time member of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame with Acadia (1965) and Saint Mary’s (1973).   

Acadia Axemen Basketball Team of 1976-77 won the CIS championship in Halifax, defeating Lakehead University 72-63 at the Halifax Forum. They won the AUS title in an 84-82 overtime thriller over UPEI. The team won 25 of 30 games overall, including one stretch of 23 wins in 24 games, and 16 in a row. Ed Shannon was AUS MVP and Alvin Jessamy was an All-Canadian on this team with eight Nova Scotians on its roster including starting backcourt of Gordie West, Liverpool, and Robert Upshaw, Lower Sackville, plus freshman forward Ted Upshaw, Windsor, who would become an all-conference player. Coach Dick Hunt was named AUS Coach of the Year. Team Members include Tony Acker, John Archibald, Bruce Hunt, Alvin Jessamy, Stephen Johnson, Peter Leighton, Alan Oliver, Doug Roberts, Ed Shannon, Eric Skinner, Bruce Toigo, Robert Upshaw, Ted Upshaw, Gordie West, Norman Whynot, Don Crosby, John Thompson, and John Townsend.

Football lineman Bruce Beaton, the Port Hood, N.S. native was a two-time Grey Cup winner with Edmonton Eskimos, a three-time CFL All-Star, seven-time division all-star, and named an All-Century Edmonton Eskimo. In the 1991 CFL draft, Bruce was a first-round selection of the B.C. Lions and picked eighth overall. Bruce also played with Los Angeles Extreme of the XFL and had a tryout with the NFL Indianapolis Colts. Now living in Kentville, Bruce was a three-time CIS All-Canadian while playing at Acadia University.

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