Malcolm “Red” Wiseman was a prominent area basketball official and President of the Windsor and District Basketball Referees’ Association for many years. During his career, he memorably both played against and refereed games with the Harlem Globetrotters.
Wiseman was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on July 12, 1913. He passed away on April 11, 1993.
As a high school student, Wiseman played basketball at Sandwich High School, before transferring to Windsor-Walkerville Technical School (later W. D. Lowe). In 1933, he captained the Windsor-Walkerville Tech team that won the Dominion Inter-Scholastic Basketball Title in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Following high school, Wiseman moved on to Detroit Tech, where he played under coach Julius Goldman. Next, he joined the Windsor Alumni and Windsor Ford V-8s squads. A guard, Wiseman was noted for his offensive playmaking abilities and defensive prowess.
Wiseman won the 1936 Canadian Senior Men’s Basketball Championship with the Windsor Ford V-8s. Famously, the team represented Canada at that year’s Berlin Olympics, where it won a silver medal. Wiseman and his teammates lost to the USA 19-8 in the gold medal game. In 1961, the team was enshrined in the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame.
Wiseman had further success with other Windsor Senior teams. With the Windsor Alumni, he won the Ontario Championship in 1937, ’39, and ’40. In 1937 and ’39, the team also captured the Eastern Canadian Championship but lost in the Canadian Finals to the University of British Columbia and the Victoria Dominoes respectively. In 1940, Wiseman’s Alumni reached the Eastern Canadian semifinals. Wiseman also played for Moose Lodge, with which he won the 1938 Ontario Championship and reached the Eastern Canadian Senior Finals.
Wiseman is here honoured for his contributions to basketball as a coach and official. Wiseman was a widely known referee in all manner of leagues until the age of 50. He officiated prominent games in local high school, university, amateur, and church leagues. Today, he is honoured as a lifetime member of the Windsor and District Basketball Referees’ Association, of which he was President for many years.
Wiseman also achieved significant success as a basketball coach. In 1935, while still in his early 20s, he coached Windsor’s Ontario Ladies Basketball Association District runner-up squad. Later, he coached the Windsor Alumni, Windsor Sterlings, and Windsor Jaycees for several years. His Alumni won the Ontario Championship and reached the Eastern Canadian semifinals in 1948. The team reached the Ontario quarterfinals in ’53. Wiseman’s 1950 Windsor Sterlings team made it to the Ontario Finals.
Wiseman received the Detroit-Windsor Freedom Festival Award in 1963 for his lifelong contributions to basketball. In 1975, he received a “Merit Award” from the National Association of Basketball Coaches. In 1981, he was granted lifetime membership in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts in recognition of his contributions on behalf of the Windsor and District Referees Association.