The University of Dayton honored its basketball past on Saturday by naming its practice facility “Fieldhouse Gym” after all the players who played their careers in the old UD Fieldhouse in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and dedicating the practice court “Bockhorn Court” after former Flyer great Bucky Bockhorn. The announcement was made at a basketball alumni reception at the Cronin Athletic Center on campus.
“I’ve been fortunate in my lifetime to be given a lot of awards,” Bockhorn said, “but I think this is the biggest one. I really want to thank Clay and Mary Mathile for coming up with this idea and also thank (University President) Dr. (Dan) Curran and (UD VP/Athletic Director) Tim Wabler for making this happen. It’s really hard for me to put into words what this means.”
Bockhorn is a member of the University of Dayton Athletic Hall of Fame, UD’s All-Century Team and the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. After a seven-year NBA career, Bockhorn became a successful businessman, and in 1972, began broadcasting UD basketball games on the radio. Since then, he has been a mentor and confidant to coaches and players, and the UD basketball program’s biggest advocate.
“A lot of people have said I’ve done some good for the University of Dayton,” Bockhorn stated. “The University of Dayton has done a lot more for me than I’ve done for it. I really mean that.”
“We’re not just honoring a basketball player, even if he is one of the best who have ever played for the Flyers,” Wabler said. “We are honoring his incredible lifetime devotion to the University of Dayton basketball program.”
The plaque honoring Bockhorn reads in part: “Arlen “Bucky” Bockhorn was a versatile player and tenacious defender for some of the best teams in Flyer history from 1955-58… It is fitting that his name is attached to the Flyer’s practice court, because while his talents gave him the opportunity to have a successful NBA career, it was his will to win, determination and work ethic that sets him apart in the annals of Dayton basketball…(His) contagious enthusiasm for the Dayton basketball community and family will always be remembered at the University of Dayton.”
The University also honored the players who laid the foundation for today’s Dayton Flyer basketball program and helped preserve the legacy of the players who played their games in the old UD Fieldhouse by naming the practice facility in the Cronin Center the “Fieldhouse Gym.”
“When the Fieldhouse was renamed the Thomas J. Frericks Athletics and Convocation Center, it was appropriate and richly deserved,” Wabler said. “But it’s hard to express to people new to University of Dayton basketball how important the ‘Fieldhouse Era’ is to our program. When you mention the Fieldhouse to them, all you receive is a blank stare.”
To remedy this, in addition to naming the Fieldhouse Gym, the University also included a plaque with the name of every member of the teams that played in the old Fieldhouse between 1950 and 1969. These players won 435 games in the decades of the 1950’s and 1960’s, including 255 in the Fieldhouse. Those 435 wins were the most in college basketball during that period.