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One of Canada’s early hoop stars of 1940s’ passes away

Murray Waxman, was a former member of Canada’s 1948 Olympic Summer Games and the Montreal YMHA Blues.

Montreal YMHA Blues: Ben Lands, Cy Strulovitch and Murray Waxman played 1948 Canadian men's Olympic basketball team.
Montreal YMHA Blues: Ben Lands, Cy Strulovitch and Murray Waxman played 1948 Canadian men's Olympic basketball team. - Photo: Sol Tolchinsky/Curtis Phillips

At age 23 Murray Waxman played guard on Canada’s men’s basketball team at the 1948 Olympic Summer Games held in London, England.

Composed of players from the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and Young Men’s Hebrew Association of Montreal, of which Waxman was a member, Canada finished 9th overall out of 23 teams.

Waxman had joined the Montreal YMHA Blues shortly after the conclusion of World War II.

In 1948 the team captured the Eastern Canadian Championships.

In 1950 the Montreal YMHA became the first Canadian Senior Men’s Basketball champions from the province of Quebec, defeating the University of Manitoba Bisons in a best-of-five series 3-to-1.

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YMHA Montreal Blues members of the Canadian 1948 Olympics basketball team Moe Abramowitz, Mendy Morein, Doodie Bloomfield, Ben Lands, Murray Waxman, Sydney Strulovitch,Sol tolchinsky
YMHA Montreal Blues members of the Canadian 1948 Olympics basketball team Moe Abramowitz, Mendy Morein, Doodie Bloomfield, Ben Lands, Murray Waxman, Sydney Strulovitch, Sol Tolchinsky – Photo: Curtis J. Phillips

Waxman was top scorer in the final with 19 points in a 57-38 victory.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for this moment,” Blues coach Joey Richman told Canadian Press.

Waxman also played in the 1950 Maccabiah Games.

In 1946, he set a new scoring record in the Montreal Basketball League with 120 points in 10 games.

An injury to his shoulder, during an exhibition match in Vermont against St. Michael’s College Purple Knights, ended his playing career in 1951.

To add insult to injury, they lost 67-63.

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Ymha montreal blues murray waxman blocks shot
YMHA Montreal Blues basketball player Murray Waxman blocks shot – Photo: Curtis J. Phillips

“I went up for a rebound and as I came down my legs were cut away from me by (Vic) Richardson,” recalled Waxman in a 1998 interview with the Montreal Gazette. “I fell to the floor and when I used my elbow to break the fall I damage my arm.”

Waxman passed away Sunday, November 27, 2022 at the age of 97.

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