1982 INDUCTION TO THE RHODE ISLAND AQUATIC HALL OF FAME
Basil was the first Rhode Islander to be a member of a United States Olympic swimming team, competing in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, California. At that time, the breaststroke event in swimming was dominated by European swimmers. Basil represented the United States in the 200 meter breaststroke, finishing fourth in the finals. During his school years in the 1920’s, Basil competed for the Providence YMCA swimming team, and his name is listed as the winner in about every meet he entered, particularly in his specialty…the breaststroke. In the early 1930’s, he swam in numerous meets at the Rocky Point pool, which was one of the few pools in the east with the proper length to qualify swimmers for the Olympic team. At that time, Basil held numerous R.I. and New England records in the breaststroke events. Just before qualifying for the United States Olympic team, Basil attended Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, which at that time was a swimming power in the east. After the Olympics, Basis attended the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 1937. He is survived by his son Keith Francis, who now lives in Hyannis. Basil is regarded as one of the early “pioneers” of competitive swimming in Rhode Island.