In conjunction with the Dinos’ 40th anniversary season, the Gauntlet is profiling athletes from five decades of Dinos history.
The University of Calgary Dinos men’s basketball team has flourished with numerous star players through the years. Few, though, are remembered like ’70s standout Tom Bishop.
Bishop’s basketball reign at the U of C lasted from 1973-76. During this time, he achieved many athletic landmarks. He placed 12th in all-time scoring, fourth in all-time rebounds and was named Canada West player of the year, first-term all-Canadian and U of C male athlete of the year in 1976. Over his career, he averaged 16.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. After his U of C involvement, Bishop spent many years as a member of the Canadian national basketball team.
His starting season saw many rookies on the basketball team. He recalls this being both a challenge and a blessing
“We were a really young team,” he said. “We had two talented coaches, really good chemistry and we were just really hungry [for winning]. That and we didn’t know any better. We just all really bought into it and set a lot of goals to achieve.”
In Bishop’s first season, the team finished poorly with a record of 6-14. Through strength and perseverance, the basketballers managed to pull themselves up to 19-1 by the end of Bishop’s final year.
“We became conference champions because we stayed together since the beginning,” Bishop said. “I remember doing extreme dry-land training, running in tornado-like weather.”
Bishop still maintains friendships with his fellow teammates because of these shared experiences.
“You’ve got to enjoy the ride and everything,” he said. “Once you get a job, a mortgage, you realize how awesome it was to just play and go to school. You’ve just got to enjoy it while you can.”
Bishop was selected as one of the top 40 Dinos of all time in celebration of the Dinos’ 40th anniversary.