Martha & Pat Gleeson - Builder (Basketball) - Class of 2020
Martha Gleeson and Pat Gleeson are known as Milton's basketball "birth parents". Long before the NBA came north of the border and before the Raptors became Canada's sweetheart team, the Gleesons identified a void when it came to basketball in town. There were no instructional programs. There were no leagues. It was high school level basketball or nothing.
Determined to change the narrative, Martha and Pat started a program involving the local YMCA, before branching out and creating what became known as Monarch Basketball. Through dedication and resolve Martha and Pat's comprehensive Monarch program offered year round options, such as instructional camps, house league competition, summer camps, travel teams and high school coaching.
Martha and Pat witnessed the successes of the Monarch program for over two decades as their legacy grew year by year. There were championships and player awards, but the culmination may have come in 1997 when the Toronto Raptors recognized Martha for her coaching achievements. But in the end, it was the intangibles that were instilled in their young pupils that Martha and Pat could be most proud of: self-esteem, belonging, teamwork, striving for a goal and building a sense of pride in one's community.