Basketball well represented among Alberta Sport Award winnters

May. 12, 2024

The basketball community will be well represented when the 2023 Alberta Sports Recognition Awards are handed out during the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Red Deer on May 24.

Recipients of the annual awards were announced on May 10, and include basketball coach Marty Birky and hoops official Mathew Kallio, as well as the Canadian women’s 3x3 team.

Birky is one of two individuals to receive the ‘Coaching Recognition Award’ for 2023. In 2023, the Calgary resident guided the SAIT men’s basketball team to their sixth consecutive ACAC title and first CCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship gold medal. Birky has since retired from coaching and is now a member of the Alberta Basketball Association (ABA) Board of Directors.

One of two recipients of the ‘Official Recognition Award’ for 2023, Kallio was the only non-American to referee in the NBA G League last year. He worked 43 games during the 2022-23 G League regular season, including 23 as a crew chief, and officiated several games in the 2023 G League postseason. Kallio was also promoted to a full-time NBA staff official for the 2022-23 season.

The ‘Open Team of The Year’ award for 2023 goes to the Canada 3x3 women’s basketball team, whose roster includes three Albertans that played for ABA youth provincial teams: Katherine Plouffe of Edmonton; Michelle Plouffe of Edmonton; and Kacie Bosch of Lethbridge. In 2023, the team dominated the FIBA Women’s Series, finishing first in 5 consecutive tournaments en route to finishing the year as the top ranked team in the world.

“The basketball community in Alberta is rich with stories of people and teams succeeding not beyond their wildest imaginings, but in a way that inspires others to imagine,” says Dave Drabiuk, ABA Executive Director. “All of the honourees on this list have accomplished amazing things and we are so grateful that they have given back to the sport in so many ways. Congratulations to these very special members of the Alberta basketball family.”
Presented annually since 1987, the Alberta Sport Awards honour the extraordinary athletic accomplishments of Alberta athletes, teams, coaches, and officials. For more information visit the Alberta Sport Awards website.