Lars Hansen is named the coaching staff of the ABA Balloholics for the 2014 season. We are very excited to have Lars join our program as meeting with him there were many shared values about basketball, youth basketball and the opportunity that the ABA brings to the lower mainland.
Lars began his career as a standout player in B.C. High School Basketball from Centennial High School in Coquitlam, BC, he was a two time Provincial MVP (one of only three in B.C. history) of The “AAA” High School Boys tournament in 1971 & 1972 .
In 1972 when his Centennial Centaurs captured the B.C. HS AAA Basketball Championships he was also awarded the Vic Andrews Award as the B.C. High School Athlete of the Year. This was also the year Hansen first joined Canada’s Basketball National Team program. Lars captained the 1972 Pre-Olympic Canadian National Team that toured Mainland China.
Lars attended the University of Washington where he lettered and started all four years unprecedented by any Canadians with The Huskies as well he set individual records for scoring in two categories. During his time at U of W he received the Bob Wurster Award as the team’s Most Improved Player and the “Hec Edmonson Trophy” as the team’s Most Inspirational Player. In 1976, his senior year, he played in the NABC East-West All-Star game in Oklahoma and was named to the NCAA PAC 8 All Conference Team, as well he was selected to The Pizza Hut All America Game.
Lars played 6 years with The Canadian National / Olympic Team (1972-1977) and is regarded as one of Canada’s top post players of all time. He helped lead Canada to an eighth-place finish at the 1974 FIBA World Basketball Championship in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1976 as part of the Canadian Men’s Basketball team at the Montreal Olympics, he was the top rebounder.
Lars was drafted 39th overall by the Chicago Bulls, selected in the 3rd round in the 1976 NBA Draft, becoming the first player from B.C. to appear in the modern-day NBA. In 1977 he played with the Los Angeles Lakers. He joined the Seattle Supersonics in 1978 playing under former Raptors Head Coach and NBA Hall of Famer, Lenny Wilkens, with the 1978-79 NBA Championships: Lars is the first Canadian to be on a NBA Championship roster.
After his NBA career, Lars went on to a highly distinguished European Professional Basketball career playing in Italy and Spain, totaling 6 years with Olympia Milano / Lazio Roma / OAR Ferrol / FC Barcelona. He was FIBA Spanish First Div, League MVP, as well as the league’s scoring and rebounding leader. (OAR Ferrol, 1981). In 1981 he was named Player of the Year and scoring champion of the FIBA First Division Spanish League. His overseas professional career culminated in 1982-83, winning the Spanish League Championship with FC Barcelona.
Lars served as an Assistant Coach to Legendary Univ. of Washington and USA Basketball Hall of Fame Coach Marv Harshman.
He is a principal founding member of The Canada One Athletic Foundation (formerly The Metro Vancouver Basketball Foundation: “MVBF” founded in the year 2000). The Foundation launched the HSBC Basketball Classic one of Canada’s premier high school basketball preseason events providing scholarships for over (100) teams of all genders, ages and abilities. ‘Canada One’ has recently launched “Kitsfest” (The Kitsilano Beach summer sports and healthy living festival on Vancouver’s most popular beach, Kits Beach).
As a businessman in the construction industry, his efforts have earned two Royal City Building Awards – Heritage Restoration Division. Lars is a member of The BC Basketball and Canada Basketball Hall of Fames.
His father, the late Architect Poul Hansen, and his two sisters, Bente Hansen and Inge Bessman are Canadian Federation Artists. Lars is a minstrel, poet, painter and great coach.