From his grade nine year at Nelson High School, through university, and to the Canadian Olympic Team Jamie Russell’s career has been a story of hard work, a commitment to improvement, and a keen desire to learn. At each stop along the way, Jamie Russell has left a legacy.
In 1971 he lead the Nelson Lords to their first Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) provincial basketball championship. From there – based on his strong academic standing - the Nelson grad won a grant-in-aid scholarship to Ivy League’s Colgate University – an NCAA Division 1 school. At Colgate, he averaged a remarkable 22 points per game and was chosen a co-captain in his senior year.
Jamie returned to Canada in 1975 to attend the University of Waterloo and led the Warriors to a third-place finish in the 1975-76 Canadian University Basketball Championships. Here he averaged an amazing 23.89 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. As well, he was named an OUAA West All-Star; the most outstanding player in the OUAA playoffs; and a first-team all-Canadian; and became the 1976 recipient of the Mike Moser Award which recognizes the most outstanding Canadian University Basketball player in the country.
Jamie, at 20, was the youngest starter on the Canadian National Senior Team. From this moment on his stature and reputation in the game grew immensely. He took immense pride in his game and particularly in the defensive side of basketball. His high basketball IQ and superb talent were soon recognized internationally.
Jamie’s international resume includes:
1973: The World Student Games - Moscow USSR
1974: World Championships - Puerto Rico
1975: Intercontinental Cup at Maple Leaf Gardens where he led the team with 26 points and a first-ever victory against the Soviet Union
1975: Pan American Games - Mexico City
1976: Olympic Games - Montreal where the Canadian Team placed fourth
1978: World Championships - Manila, Philippines
After completing his undergraduate degree at Colgate, Jamie enrolled in the McMaster School of Medicine n 1976. Somehow he managed to find time to serve as an assistant coach for the Marauders men’s basketball team. In 1979 he added “Doctor” to his name. He completed his residency in General Surgery at Mac in 1984, followed by a Fellowship in Surgery/Critical Care in Baltimore, Maryland.
Jamie’s playing days however were not quite over. From 1976 to 1982 and from 1987 to 1991 he was the Player/Captain of the Toronto Estonia Basketball Club leading helping them win ten Ontario Basketball Association Senior Men’s Championships and two Canadian Championships. One can easily see that Jamie Russell’s commitment and dedication to basketball and athletics is exemplary. We are proud to welcome him into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame.