Flyers name practice court after UD legend

The former University of Dayton basketball great was honored Saturday when the practice floor in the Cronin Athletics Center on campus was christened Bockhorn Court.

True to form, the 78-year-old UD legend — who has provided color commentary for Flyer broadcasts for 43 years — avoided the podium as he was introduced to about 200 former players and guests by Athletic Director Tim Wabler. But Bockhorn was clearly touched by the gesture.

“I owe a lot to a lot of people,” he said privately. “Everybody talks about what I’ve done for the university, but the university has done a helluva lot for me.”

He said he was grateful to his wife, Peggy, and his family for encouraging him to stay involved with the team. And he’s flattered that his name will be preserved in the way former coaches Tom Blackburn and Don Donoher have had facilities named after them.

“It’s something that will be there forever, right alongside Blackburn and Donoher, guys like that,” Bockhorn said. “It means a lot to me. It’s real good company, there’s no doubt about it.”

Philanthropist Clay Mathile was the catalyst behind Bockhorn being honored, having made a donation to the $7.1 million Cronin building with the request that UD do something to recognize the former star.

A plaque at the entrance of the gym will carry the name “Bockhorn Court,” and those words will be placed on each baseline of the playing surface.

“Not only has Bucky been the radio voice for 40 years, but, inside, he’s been close to so many coaches and players in the program,” Wabler said. “He’s at nearly every practice year after year. To have the practice court named after him is appropriate because that’s where he spends most of his time with us.”

The practice gym itself also will be formally known as the Fieldhouse, preserving the name of the Flyers’ home court from 1950-69, during which UD won more basketball games than any program.