A basketball giant on Vancouver Island, and for the sport nationally, has passed away following a battle with cancer.

Eli Pasquale, a star of the UVic Vikes men’s basketball team, and a member of the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame passed away Monday.

Pasquale was 59 and his death confirmed by former Vikes’ Head Coach Ken Shields.

Pasquale led the Vikes to five straight national titles from 1980 to 1984 and is the all-time leading scorer.

His number-13 is also retired by the Vikes.

A draft pick of the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics in 1984, Pasquale spent 15 years as part of the Canadian national team at various levels.

He played at the Summer Olympic Games in 1984 in Los Angeles and the 1988 games in Seoul, South Korea.

Pasquale was inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003, and then the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

Over the past two decades, Pasquale has operated basketball camps for youth on the Island.