May 17th, 2024

Pronghorns announce three new inductees into the Hall of Fame


By Lethbridge Herald on December 18, 2021.

The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns have welcomed three new inductees into the Pronghorn Hall of Fame.

With the calendar about to turn to 2022, southern Alberta products Danny Balderson (basketball) and Jim Steacy (track and field) will be entering in the athlete category, while the 1985-86 Pronghorn women’s basketball team will be inducted into the team category.

During the first weekend of Canada West action in 2022 the Pronghorns will honour the three new inductees during the half time of the Pronghorn men’s basketball game on Jan. 22.

“This group of inductees characterize all of the attributes we want Pronghorn athletics to be identified with,” said Pronghorns athletic director Neil Langevin in a release. “I was lucky enough to watch Danny and the 85-86 women’s basketball team and have known Jim since he was a young high school athlete and have been amazed with all of them. Congratulations to them all and thank you for being great exemplars for our current athletes.”

The 1985-86 women’s basketball team became the first Pronghorn women’s basketball team to qualify for the national tournament and win a medal.

Following a third place finish during the Canada West regular season, the Pronghorns hosted the Canada West Championship Tournament, beating the University of Alberta Pandas 68-53 in the semifinal to punch their ticket to the conference final.

In the Canada West Championship game, the Pronghorns lost to the defending CIAU Champion Victoria Vikes, 68-57, but would qualify for the first ever CIAU Championships hosted in Winnipeg.

In the bronze medal game, the Horns defeated Lakehead 81-73 to earn their first and only national medal for the women’s basketball program.

Sharon Hamilton led the Pronghorns in scoring that season, while being named a Canada West First Team All-Star and a CIAU Second Team All-Canadian and Dori Rodzinyak was named a Canada West Second Team All-Star, a Canada West Tournament All-Star and a CIAU Tournament All-Star.

Ingeborg Pot was named a Canada West Tournament All-Star.

Hailing from Magrath, Balderson was a standout on the court for five seasons with the Pronghorn men’s basketball team, and was a key player in a three-year run from 1997-2000 that saw the Pronghorns finish among the best teams in Canada West each year.

Balderson joined the Horns in 1993-94 season and finished second in team scoring while being named both the Canada West and CIS Rookie of the year.

He was twice named the Canada West Player of the Year, including in his final season where he led the Pronghorns to an 18-2 record and earned his first CIAU Player of the Year award.

Over 20 years since his final game in Pronghorn blue and gold, Balderson still remains the program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,000 points, which is ranked 10th best all-time in Canadian university sport history.

Dominating the track, Steacy rewrote the Canada West record book over his five years with the Pronghorns.

He joined the program in the fall of 2002 and was an instant sensation in the throwing circle, winning the Canada West and CIS weight throw titles as a freshman.

Over his five competitive seasons (2002-05, 2006-07 and 2008-09) Steacy went undefeated in the weight throw (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009) winning both the Canada West and CIS events each year, while also breaking the conference and national record every season.

In addition to Steacy’s prowess in the weight throw, he also earned four conference and national shot put medals, which included a three-year reign as the throws king in the CIS.

During the 2005, 2007 and 2009 Canada West and CIS track seasons, Steacy won gold in both weight and shot put events.

His accomplishments include being named the Pronghorn Male Athlete of the Year in all five of his seasons.

He is a three-time CIS Field Athlete of the Year (2004, 2005, 2007), five-time Canada West Field Athlete of the Year, 2003 Canada West and CIS Rookie of the Year and won the 2007 Canada West Student-Athlete and Community award.

Internationally, Steacy represented Canada numerous times, including being a two-time Olympian (2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London). He also represented Canada at the World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games, Francophone Games and Unviersiade. He is still the Canadian record holder in the hammer throw.

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