The University of Calgary pulled out all the stops in honouring former Dinos basketball star Richard Bohne last weekend.
Bohne’s jersey, number 11, was retired by the men’s basketball program in a ceremony between games on Saturday.
A procession led by the U of C Pipe Band entered the darkened Jack Simpson Gymnasium. The band was followed by Bohne’s parents, George and Maureen; his former coaches Gary Howard and Cory Russell; former teammate Craig Newman; Athletic Director Don Wilson; and Bohne, with his wife Shondie, and sons Trey and Chase.
Russell opened the ceremonies by recalling what a strong practice player Bohne was. Newman spoke next, remembering the skinny waterboy at a Dinos camp who turned out to be Bohne, fresh off his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Newman also spoke of the admiration Bohne earned from his fellow players.
"It’s easy to open the Herald and read about Richard Bohne’s stats line," said Newman. "But players don’t respect stats; players respect players."
Newman also quoted former coach Howard to describe Bohne.
"You have many things that are God-given," he reiterated, "but there are two things that you give yourself: effort and integrity. Richard Bohne epitomizes that in everything he does."
Howard took the mic from Newman. Howard told the packed gym about how Bohne arrived at the Dinos’ jamboree as an eighth grader, trying to pass himself off as a 10th grader so he could play. He participated that year in the junior division, then returned the next year as a ninth grader to play in the senior division.
Howard recalled how disappoined he was when Bohne chose not to attend the U of C after high school.
"One of the saddest times in my life was when Richard chose to go to Dixie College in Utah."
Bohne, of course, came back to the U of C after a year in Utah and two years on his mission in South America.
Following the unveiling of the number 11 banner, Bohne stood and, rather than draw attention to himself, asked the crowd to recognize his former teammates who were in attendance, including Newman, Errol Jarrett and Sandor Kiss, a veritable mid-’90s all-star squad.
Perhaps inspired by this showing, the Dinos, led by Brad Gallup, Bohne’s lone former teammate on the current squad; and John Riad, tabbed by some as the Dinos’ next superstar, played some of their best ball of the season against the University of Regina Cougars.
"We didn’t spoil it by losing," said Russell, whose team will make their first playoff appearance since Bohne’s retirement.