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Dinos Heroes: Where are they now?

By Rodrigo Verney, January 12 2022

Epic tales have a multitude of factors that makes them great. From the unforgettable underdog stories to the amazing one-in-a-million stories. Unfortunately, every chapter also comes to an end. That doesn’t mean, however, that the book is closed. This time around, let’s circle back and understand what happened to the heroes whose tales we cheerfully hang on the walls of the kinesiology complex. Because a University of Calgary Dino is made from much more than simply their achievements on the field, they are shaped by an untamable spirit to succeed. May that be among its peers or in front of a crowd.

Post-university athletics success has been linked with the necessary next step of endless drafting and overseas play. This unfair vision places any other academic pursuit as a second option. It is important to also remember that they are more than just players — they’re students as well. Like Brett Layton and Jasdeep Gill, who were both key players in elevating the Dinos basketball team. 

Layton became USports player of the year in the 2019-20 season and Gill took the team to the USports final eight in 2014. Today, Gill went on to finish his business degree and is currently an operation manager at Luxuria Homes. Layton got his law degree and is now an associate at Whitelaw Twining, he also received a bachelor of business administration from his time at Mount Royal University.

The Dinos are not unknown to success if playing professionally is what they pursue as well. Former Dinos hockey player Brock Nixon is a good example. One of the most important skaters during one of the best seasons yet, the pure scorer went on to play professionally in few places. In the United States, he played for the Colorado Eagles for three seasons all seeing playoff games. After four more years overseas, Nixon returned to Canada and played for the Russell Rams before starting his newest role on the Langenburg Warriors. 

One-in-a-million stories are also something Dinos are not a stranger to. Deane Leonard is a name many will recognize. The young Dino prospect was given the chance to take his talents to the NFL — the greatest dream of every football player. Leonard is a great example of surpassing the limits, even if it might be a Hail Mary away.

A true fan cheers for the traditions that made its team great and those players who made does traditions possible. Their success stories inspire and shape a new generation of players who are ready to climb the steps that they built and chase the example that they become. It is through this companionship that the Dinos are able to thrive and elevate the bar once more, all the while discovering that the end doesn’t necessarily mean the end. That the talent was never on the jersey, but on the sweat, pain, and drive that they displayed. Through their hard work, the great Dinos of the past are guiding the legends of tomorrow.

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