OAKVILLE, Ont. - The Sheridan Athletics and Recreation department announced today the 2019 induction class of the Sheridan Bruins Hall of Fame, with the 1997-98 men's basketball team, Brian Laundry (builder), and Josie Kelly (builder) set to be enshrined during the annual Homecoming Weekend at the Trafalgar Campus on September 28.
1997-98 Men's Basketball
The 1997-98 men's basketball team was a curious mix of talented players from a variety of backgrounds and experiences that made a magical run to give Jim Flack his first in a long string of Ontario Championships. Mostly culled from Brampton and Mississauga, the team was a multi-cultural and multi-talented group that had two things in common: they were inexperienced and they were hungry for gold.
Led by two standout guards from Malton, Bryan Harris and Shane Bascoe, and monster pivots, Ricardo Edwards and Chris Bennett, the team regularly played 11 or 12 Bruins in order to wear their opponents down. Motivated by early playoff elimination one year prior, the few that returned had an incredible will to win. With an overall record of 28-12 and an OCAA record of 12-2, the provincial champions will be remembered as one of the youngest teams to win a title.
Assistant Coach Leroy Cassanova (Hall of Fame class of 2016) recalled the group with great fondness. "When we got back to the hotel, the coaches looked at each other with stunned surprise," he said. "We had been victimized by early playoff losses with teams that were superior in size and talent. But finally we were cutting down the nets, and doing it with a bunch of undersized freshmen and sophomores. Their hearts were huge."
Brian Laundry, Builder
Although he was a two-time OCAA Champion and national finalist basketball player, Brian Laundry (Business Administration - Finance, 2002, Financial Planning, 2003) will be inducted in the Builder category. His efforts as a basketball player were incredibly important to the success of the teams he played for - he never hesitated to play his role and sacrifice for the group - but it is his post-athletic contributions that will be acknowledged in the Hall of Fame.
Brian helped energize the Bruin Brand into a collegiate juggernaut, he initiated the incredibly popular sheridanbruins.com web site, made huge contributions to the early versions of Sheridan's "Homecoming" Weekend, and planted the seeds of an Alumni outreach program that has bridged the 1967-2019 generations, allowing them to enjoy a shared history.
In 2006, Brian was the Chair of the Men's National Basketball Championship, and the event was an unmitigated success. Recently, the Sky Blue Endowment Fund has eclipsed $2 million in assets. A substantial portion of that number was energized when the president of Brian Laundry Insurance Solutions Inc. created a ground-breaking "planned giving" strategy for the Double Blue.
Athletic director Jim Flack- who also coached Laundry - was enthusiastic in his praise. "Brian did not come from wealth and privilege, but he worked his tail off at everything he did," Flack said. "He is the embodiment of our 'No Shortcuts. No Excuses' mantra. When someone needs a model for the power of effort and knowledge, Brian is the guy. No one is less surprised by his professional success than me."
Josie Kelly, Builder
The final member of the 2019 induction class will also be enshrined as a builder, and is someone who has been the lynchpin of the Bruins for more nearly three decades. Josie Kelly worked at Sheridan in a variety of roles for 28 years, the balance of which were spent leading the administrative support team in Athletics and Recreation.
Her unmatched work ethic was a key to the Double Blue's rejuvenation in the new millennium. Josie kept a steady hand on the finances, eligibility issues, and major event execution throughout the resurgence of the Bruin program. Wayne Allison (Hall of Fame class of 2016) had a front row seat to Josie's importance in the re-build.
"I would come in the office and Jim would be bouncing off the walls as usual, coming up with yet another initiative. And there was Josie, steady hand on the wheel, day after day," Allison said. "Jim was the first to admit that there was no way the success could have happened without her. She truly became an expert at her role."
Josie's dedication to students was apparent in all her work at Sheridan, including stints with the Student Union and in the finance office, but her home was Athletics and Recreation. Even after her retirement in 2017, she still pitches in with expertise, making sure that the department continues to move in a cohesive direction.
Dean of Students Maria Lucido-Bezely was excited to hear that such a deserving candidate would be enshrined in the Hall.
"Josie is, in many ways, a model Student Affairs professional," she said. "She is humble, passionate, and completely dedicated to student success. I couldn't be more proud to have worked with someone like her."