Athlete - Lacrosse
A native of Whitby, Gil Nieuwendyk was introduced to the sport of lacrosse at the age of six when he was registered by his father to play in the Whitby Minor Lacrosse Association. And it did not take very long for Gil to demonstrate his exceptional talents on a lacrosse floor; by age 15, Gil was playing Junior B lacrosse in Ajax before returning to play for his hometown Whitby Warriors Junior A team from 1979 to 1982.
During his four seasons with the Warriors, Gil played in 86 regular season games, recording 124 goals and 139 assists for 286 total points or 3.3 points per game. He maintained a similar pace in 35 playoff games, scoring 49 goals and adding 62 assists; this includes 19 goals and 13 assists in the 1980 playoffs when the Warriors won the Minto Cup national championship. This team was later inducted into the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame (2006).
At the conclusion of his junior career, Gil went on to play Major Series Lacrosse, joining the Brooklin Redmen in 1983. In his first season with Brooklin, Gil won the Gene Dopp Trophy, awarded to the Outstanding Rookie in Major Series Lacrosse.
Over six seasons from 1983 to 1988, Gil spearheaded a powerful offence for these Brooklin teams; he won the league scoring title (Bucko McDonald Trophy) in 1983 and again in 1985, and finished in the Top 10 in league scoring in each of the six campaigns. In 117 regular season games during his senior career, Gil scored 256 goals and added 307 assists for 563 points, a pace of 4.8 points per game. He accumulated another 113 goals and 160 assists in 85 playoff games, leading Brooklin to Mann Cup championships in 1985, 1987, and 1988.
As a further testament to his scoring and playmaking skills, Gil was drafted in the first round (sixth overall) by the Buffalo Bandits of the National Lacrosse League in 1993 – five years after his retirement from lacrosse.
Gil was inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2014, both times in the player category. A father of three, Gil has remained heavily involved in the sport, coaching at the minor level and with the Brooklin senior team.