Top News

Lockeport teacher honoured with prestigious award


By Amy Woolvett THE COAST GUARD NovaNewsNow.com Local legend, teacher and basketball coach Kent Balish was recently nominated and chosen to receive the 2007 Frank Baldwin Award through Basket Ball Nova Scotia.

Kent Balish, a teacher and coach at Lockeport Regional High School, has recently been chosen to receive the 2007 Frank Baldwin Award from Basketball Nova Scotia. Amy Woolvett Photo

He has now received the highest award in every category for his profession.

The nationally recognized award is given to those who develop the game of basketball in their community and province.

The ceremony will take place March 17 in Halifax in honour of Balish and his numerous achievements throughout his coaching career. “I do it for the love of it,” says Balish. “Some people play golf or tennis but my hobby is coaching.”

Balish started on the Board of Governors of Basketball Nova Scotia in 1966 and has garnered an extensive list of achievements during his time on the board.

He brought his Lockeport High School basketball team to Newfoundland in 1976 to practice and play with the Women’s Olympic basketball team. The coach, Brian Heaney is now an analyst for TSN.

Balish was guest coach in 1977 for the Men’s Olympic basketball team training camp. While there, he coached Leo Rautins, who is now colour commentator for the Toronto Raptors. Rautins previously coached Jack Donahue, the high school coach of superstar athlete Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

In 1984 he was selected as one of nine people to design and test the Olympic selection process for Canadian athletes, a method still being used to this day.

Balish has developed more provincial team athletes playing on Basketball Nova Scotia teams in the foundation’s history.

Basketball Nova Scotia Executive Director, Donnie Ehler says Balish is not unlike the man the award is named after. “Kent was an extremely strong candidate,” says Ehler. “He has done the same things Frank Baldwin did. He gave his life and passion to basketball and Kent is the perfect example of the type of person Frank Baldwin was.”

Ehler adds the choice to give Balish the award was unanimous.

This year will end Balish’s career as a teacher and coach at Lockeport Regional High School.

As a parting gift to basketball students in the community, he has set up three basketball camps, one for elementary students from July 13-19 and two for high school students from July 16-20 and July 30 to Aug. 3.

He is bringing in NBA instructor Gannon Baker, who also works with Detroit Pistons player, Richard Hamilton to provide a NBA skills camp for teenagers. With all his efforts, Balish will no doubt be missed.

He is leaving for Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where he will teach math to high school students there.

Balish is excited about his upcoming journey and plans to excel at teaching, tutoring and perhaps coaching in the Middle East.

Recent Stories