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Local Referee and coach nets Martyn for Contribution to Basketball

Rick Cowden is this year’s winner of the George Martyn Memorial Trophy for dedication to the sport of basketball

Rick Cowden is this year’s winner of the George Martyn Memorial Trophy for dedication to the sport of basketball.

His involvement in the sport started when he began playing basketball at Scollard Hall from 1978 to 1982.

Cowden continued playing in the Canadore/Nipissing summer league.

In 1992, Rick started officiating basketball. Still, 28 years later, Rick officiates and has left his mark in the sport locally and provincially.

He has officiated over 2,000 games at the NDA, NOSSA, OFSAA, OCAA and OBA level. On the local level, he has served and continues to serve at various positions within the North Bay board of officials. Cowden has held positions of Interpreter, Vice President, and President. He is currently serving a term as President.

Probably Rick’s greatest accomplishment came early in his years as an official when he was asked to officiate at the 1999 OFSAA Championships in Collingwood.

During that competition, Rick earned the opportunity to ref in the bronze medal game. Since that time, he was selected to officiate in the gold medal game on 3 separate occasions from 2003-2008. At OFSAA, the selection process of officiating is overseen by a provincial assignor so being selected is an honour and an accomplishment only a few have the opportunity to have in their career.

In 2013, after officiating at the College level decided to join Stacey Gallagher’s coaching staff at Canadore College. He was an assistant coach from 2013-2016.

“Rick was a great player’s coach that communicated really well with his players. Most players learn skills and techniques but having Rick there helped our players understand the rules of the game," noted Gallagher. 

"He also was extremely valuable scouting opponents and providing the insight needed in order for us to be successful. His calm disposition was an important characteristic in assisting the young players turn in to solid human beings.”

The 40th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner scheduled for Saturday, May 2 was cancelled.

The 2019 Hall of Fame Award Winners will be recognized and presented their awards at a later date this year. 

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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