Robert 'Bob' Davies
Robert ‘Bob’ Davies participation with basketball began in the late 1940s and lasted for more than 60 years. He coached, refereed, managed, established, and promoted basketball in the Edmonton leagues, Albertan Associations, and Canadian Associations. He was on the executive of both the Edmonton and Alberta Basketball Associations. He coached youth teams at the community, junior, and senior high school levels and at national competitions. He also organized adult leagues and tournaments and established formal playoffs and interleague play throughout Alberta.
Bob's interest in basketball developed in 1947/48 during his grade 11 year at McDougall Commercial High School in Edmonton. His early mentors were his teacher Clare Hollingsworth and basketball Coach Arnold Henderson, a referee and highly respected coach of the Edmonton Grads.
He played club basketball until 1951/52 when he founded, coached, and played on his 'Davies' team in the four-team Edmonton Junior League. To sponsor the team, Bob joined the Edmonton Basketball Officials Association and refereed games. Throughout the years, Bob's ties to his mentors remained, and in 1955/56, Clare Hollingsworth asked Bob to be Team Manager for Henry Singer's Towne-Hallers Senior 'A' team in their quest for the Canadian Championship and Olympic Trials.
Throughout the 1950s, Bob coached basketball and formed a number of junior, senior and intermediate leagues. A firm support of all levels of basketball, Bob repurposed uniforms and promoted teams by providing media copies of the score sheet, game summaries, scoring leaders and team standings.
In 1953, the Edmonton Basketball Association executive resigned, entrusting Bob with the development of sponsored basketball in Edmonton. He grew one 3-team men's league into two 6-team men's leagues. Bob was appointed to the Alberta Amateur Basketball Association as the Northern Zone Organizer from 1954 to 1967 and again in 1969. He was also elected Secretary/Registrar for the 1967-68 season. He was responsible for organizing many of the northern Alberta Zone and Provincial playoffs. In Edmonton in 1959, a more efficient Officials Association was needed - as five new schools had been built and there were new teams, more games and more officials needed. Bob was elected President of a re-organized Edmonton Basketball Officials Association.
College and University teams formed a major part of Bob's career in the 1960s. In 1961, he formed a Junior Men's League of the Huskies Athletic Association. The league included teams from Edmonton's College St. Jean and Concordia, as well as the University of Alberta. During this time, Bob also coached the College St. Jean High School Basketball team to become the undefeated champions.
In 1964, the Jasper Auto Parts Senior Ladies team hired Bob to coach and the Jasperettes were born. They competed in the 1964 CABA Canadian Championship Tournament and finished third. Bob and the Jasperettes also attended the 1964 CABA meeting in Vancouver with the objective to encourage more efficient planning of tournaments, tournament sites, and neutral officiating.
In preparation for the first Canada Winter Games in 1967, Bob was the representative from the Alberta Amateur Basketball Association (AABA) to organize the men's and women's teams.
Bob's contributions were not limited to basketball. He organized multiple fundraising visits by the Harlem Clowns to Edmonton and was involved with the minor football leagues. He produced hundreds of 8-page play-by-play and statistical summaries for every Edmonton Eskimo home game for 31 years. Along with Herb McLachlin, they formed the foundation in which CFL statistics are kept, transmitted, reported and recorded.
Bob moved to British Columbia in 1989 and volunteered with the Canadian Men's basketball team and helped several basketball figures including John Affleck and Ken Sheilds. He was appointed Director of Mall Promotions and Director of Accreditation and Registration on the organizing committee for the 1994 Canadian Track and Field Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials. In 2005, Bob returned to Edmonton to supervise the volunteer 'table officials crews' at the Ladies World Masters Games, which consisted of 5 games per day for 9 days.
He continued to officiate basketball until his retirement in 2011, officiating a career total of 1850 games mostly at community youth levels. Bob received the City of Edmonton Recreation Citation in 1972 and was inducted into the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.