Calgary

Volunteer who dances YMCA at every Dinos basketball game honoured with award

Basketball fan and Special Olympian Bill Hurley has been honored by the University of Calgary for his inspiration and dedication to the Dinos.

Special Olympian 'Bill Man' Bill Hurley has volunteered with University of Calgary basketball for 19 years

Bill Hurley performs the song YMCA at every Dinos game, and has been the team's volunteer equipment manager for nearly 20 years. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

Basketball fan and Special Olympian Bill Hurley has been honoured by the University of Calgary for his inspiration and dedication to the Dinos.

Hurley, who likes to be known as "Bill Man" or "Wild Bill" has been a fixture at basketball games for 19 years. He's the team's volunteer equipment manager, but he's also a crowd favourite at half-time, when he takes to the court to lead the fans in a dance to the classic Village People song, YMCA.

"I hear kids, fans, people have fun, come alive," he says of both the crowd and the team. "Bigger and stronger."

Hurley was honoured with one of two Murray Fraser community service awards, which honour two outstanding volunteers each year. The other award went to Breanne Morgan, an alumna of the women's rugby team.

Hurley was presented the award at the 52nd Annual Night of the Dino awards gala.

Dinos Assistant Coach Dan Pearson smiled as he described Hurley as a "staple" of the half-time show.

"He's an extrovert," Pearson said. "He kind of put us to a place where we're playing a game and we're enjoying what we're doing, and we're there in front of a lot of people who are excited to take part in it."

Hurley said YMCA helps pump up the crowd, and brings out the best in people.

"I see the people clapping and cheering," he told CBC. "Mom's dads, sisters, families."

"It's the spirit of the Dinos, to always have fun, work hard and TEAM!"

Hurley participated as a basketball player with Team Alberta in the 2018 Special Olympics.

When asked how long he plans to keep up his YMCA career, his response — "Forever."

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