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The Sport Information Resource Centre

TORONTO, Ont. (January 27, 2023) – The Canada Basketball Foundation™ (CBF) announced today the establishment of the Marvin & Mary Pearl Basketball Scholarship.

Presented annually, two $1000 grants will be awarded to one men’s and one women’s active Canada Basketball athlete, coach, staff or volunteer, currently enrolled at a Canadian college/university.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must submit a written essay, highlighting their personal efforts to improve lives in their community through basketball. Additional information on the application process will be made available in early 2023.

The inaugural Marvin & Mary Pearl Basketball Scholarship will be awarded at an upcoming Canada Basketball event this year.

The Marvin & Mary Pearl Basketball Scholarship was created thanks to a generous donation from the Pearl family, in honour of Marvin & Mary.  Marvin was a significant contributor to the growth of the game, as a builder, coach & volunteer and devoted his life to the promotion, development, and advancement of basketball in Ontario and across Canada.  

From an early age, Marvin had an undeniable love for the game.  While teaching physical education at Jarvis Collegiate in Toronto, where he enjoyed a 34-year career, he helped take the game to new heights by organizing basketball tournaments, including the Jarvis Invitational, one of Ontario’s most prestigious high-school competitions.  In 1971, he also launched the high-profile Metro Toronto Boys AII-Star game, which featured some of Canada’s most promising high school basketball players facing off against elite American competitors.

In the 1960s, Marvin founded Toronto’s first major basketball coaching clinic, which included prominent coaches from across Canada and the United States, to advance the skills and development of coaches here at home.  

For more than 50 years, Marvin worked as a Sports Coordinator at the Canadian National Exhibition where he oversaw all the sports activities, including various basketball programs and events for participants of all ages from across Canada and around the world.

From 1968-74, he served four elected two-year terms as OFSAA Basketball Chairman and was ultimately honoured with the prestigious OFSAA Pete Beach Achievement Award in 1990.  For his dedication and impact on the sport, Marvin was also inducted into the Ontario Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

Four months following the death of his supportive and beloved wife, Mary, Marvin passed away on April 22, 2021, at age 82 after a courageous two-year battle with mesothelioma.

The scholarship will be distributed by the Canada Basketball Foundation™, a registered charitable organization dedicated to growing all aspects of the game of basketball. Working directly with Canada Basketball, the CBF aims to improve the health of the nation through basketball, provide a pathway for excellence for young athletes, and deliver dynamic basketball development that will result in international success.


“We’re establishing the Marvin & Mary Pearl Basketball Scholarship as a way to celebrate the lives of our parents and carry out what they were passionate about, both their love of basketball and helping others.  Dad helped thousands of students, players, and coaches over the course of his illustrious career, but he could not have succeeded without the support and assistance of our mom.  Mary was always there to help in any way possible and never complained about his long hours or the time he spent with his team and students.  Academics and bettering oneself were very important to both of them.   It’s a testimony to who they both were, and it’s important that we continue to honour their legacy with an organization that our dad respected in Canada Basketball.”  – Len, Alden & Michelle Pearl

“The Canada Basketball Foundation believes in removing access barriers to the sport, while also supporting and celebrating those who use their basketball path to improve the lives of others and their communities.  We are thankful to the Pearl family for this generous donation in honour of their parents and we know the annual scholarships will serve as catalysts for leaders involved with our game to create impactful off-court outcomes.” – Sheron Lau, Chair, Canada Basketball Foundation

-30-For more information, contact:
Matt Walker,