Jack Donohue, 70; Started Canadian Basketball Program

From Staff and Wire Reports

Jack Donohue, 70, the high school basketball coach of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who later established the Canadian national basketball program, died April 16 in Ottawa of complications from pancreatic cancer.

Donohue coached Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, at Power Memorial Academy in New York City.

He had a record of 163-30, including 71 straight victories from 1959 to 1965. After leaving Power, he coached Holy Cross from 1965 to 1972, where he had a record of 106-66.

A native of New York City, Donohue moved to Canada in the 1970s and established a national program. He served as head coach of the Canadian national team for 17 years, the longest tenure of any head coach in amateur or professional ranks in Canadian history.


He led his team to the Olympics four times, finishing in fourth place in 1976 and 1984. After retiring from coaching in 1988, he became a motivational speaker.