Former KAHS teacher to be inducted to Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo courtesy of the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame

A former teacher from Kate Andrews High School will be inducted to the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame at the 30th annual induction ceremony at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Pius Labolevech will be inducted in the Builder category for his work elevating high school basketball in southern Alberta.

Labolevech was born and raised in North Dakota, where he taught and coached basketball. According to a biography from the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame, he honed his coaching skills by enrolling in basketball clinics where he learned from legendary NCAA coaches such as John Wooden and Bobby Knight.

He moved to Coaldale in 1968 to teach and coach at Kate Andrews High School in Coaldale. He led the boys basketball team to five consecutive 3A championships from 1972 to 1976, winning the provincial title in 1973.

He was instrumental in the creation of the Southwest Conference, an amalgamation of 2A and 3A schools in southern Alberta. He pushed to move zone playoffs from school gyms to larger venues such as the Civic Centre, the University of Lethbridge and eventually the Sportsplex. The results was the creation of a major event in southern Alberta sports.

He served on tournament committees and held executive positions for 15 years or more, making the zone tournaments a highlight for players and fans.

“Through his tireless efforts, Pius Labolevech helped southern Alberta become known as a hotbed for high school basketball.”

In 2013, another long-time Kate Andrews teacher and coach was inducted to the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame. Terry Hanna was also inducted in the Builder category for his work in school administration and basketball.

Congratulations to Mr. Labolevech and all of this year’s inductees: the 1966-67 Lethbridge Junior College Kodiaks basketball team; Cal O’Brien, Builder category, multi-sport; and special award recipients Dave Wells (multi-sport) and Darin Gibson and Colin Nonomura (Tae Kwon-Do).

Kinsmen Sports Persons of the year are: CIS Sylvia Sweeney Award winner Kim Veldman of the U of L Pronghorn women’s basketball team and Jim Steacy, 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal winner in hammer throw.

Single tickets for the 2015 event cost $50 and a table of eight can be purchased for the discounted price of $350, at the Lethbridge Ticket Centre at ENMAX or the Yates Centre 329-7328. For further information, visit