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Kazanowski was British Columbia High School Basketball Association provincial tournament MVP in 1978 as a member of Nanaimo High School. He played college basketball for the University of Victoria Vikes. He was named a three-time CIAU All-Canadian, two-time recipient of the Premier's Athletic Award, and member of four consecutive CIAU championship Vikes teams, 1980 through 1983. Kazanowski graduated with a degree in economics and was drafted in the 7th round of the 1983 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz (his name was listed as Joe Kazanowski).
The 6-foot, 9-inch centre/forward, Kazanowski first played for the national team at the 1979 FIBA World Junior Championship. He played in three World University Games, 1981, '83, and '85. The 1983 games played in Edmonton saw the Canadians upset the United States and Yugoslavia to win gold. He participated in three FIBA World Championships, 1982, 1986, and 1990. He also participated against the original Dream Team at the 1992 FIBA Tournament of the Americas as Canada fell to the Americans in round-robin play 61-101. Kazanowski played in two Olympic Games too, in 1984, when a depleted field due to boycott saw Canada finish just outside the medals in fourth place, and in 1988.
Kazanowski played professionally from 1984 through 1992 with stops for clubs in Spain (Joventut and Baloncesto León), Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Argentina and Mexico. He was inducted into both the Naismith Museum and Hall of Fame in 2005 and Basketball BC Hall of Fame in 2006.
As of 2006, Kazanowski continued to live on Vancouver Island (he has at various times lived in Sidney and Saanichton) with his wife Claudia and daughters Sarah and Grace. He is a certified financial advisor.
In 2008, Gerald was inducted into the Nanaimo Sports hall of fame.
- Canadian Olympic Committee webpage profile (with photos)