Mickey Fox says he originally came to Halifax “because no one else wanted me.” Thirty-eight years later, the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame will welcome him with open arms.
The former Saint Mary’s Huskies basketball great from Forest Hills, N.Y., was announced yesterday as one of eight inductees to be enshrined in the Hall in November.
“Thirty-eight years ago, when I came to Canada, would I have expected this? Not in a million years,” said Fox, a four-time all-Canadian who powered the Huskies to Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships in 1973 and 1979.
It was a big day for Fox and also for basketball. Former Acadia Axemen star Brian Heaney and the entire 1976-77 Axemen team were also announced as part of the 2009 class.
Heaney, coincidentally, was the only guy who actually wanted Fox. After Heaney’s playing career with the Axemen and NBA’s Baltimore Bullets, the Rockaway Beach, N.Y., native was named Huskies head coach and recruited Fox.
“He provided me with many exciting nights and I won a lot of basketball games as a coach on the back of Mickey,” said Heaney. “He had a lifetime of success here.”
Both Heaney and Fox reflected on the 1960s and 1970s — their heydays — as a time that built a strong basketball tradition in Halifax, evidenced by the present-day success of the CIS Final 8 tournament and the Halifax Rainmen.
“It was a phenomenal time,” said Heaney. “It caught the imagination of the public. Rivalries were immense, games were hotly contested and crowds were terrific. It really set the stage for phenomenal interest in basketball in Halifax.”
One topic of discussion yesterday was Heaney’s CIS single-game record of 74 points set in 1968 — before the days of the three-point line. These days, entire teams can be lucky to put 74 points on the board. Will it ever be broken?
“Not in our lifetime,” said Fox, an NBA draft pick of the Detroit Pistons and Portland Trailblazers. “That’s an incredible feat. It’s right up there with Wilt Chamberlain’s 100.”