Basketball in is Ryan Bishop’s DNA. His passion for the game stems from family, and he is imparting his love and knowledge of the game on to the next generation.
Bishop has been around the basketball courts of Prince Rupert since the time he could walk.
His father Mel Bishop has been coach of the basketball team for over a decade, bringing his son to games and practices alike. Watching and learning from some of the greatest players Prince Rupert had to offer.
“My brother and I were just always in the gym at practices growing up. And when you’re always around and you see the tradition and the success the program has you just want to be a part of it,” Ryan said.
Before coaching, Ryan played here in Prince Rupert for the Prince Rupert Secondary School Rainmakers, and while the basketball atmosphere is great now, he can’t help but reminisce on the fun he had as a player.
“Growing up playing basketball here was amazing, we had that cross-town rivalry, with the PRSS Rain Makers and The Charles Hays Hurricanes,” Ryan said, “I think if we had been together as one school we would have more provincial banners for sure.”
After a stint of travelling the world with his wife, Ryan got a job offer in Prince Rupert he just couldn’t refuse. And with his new teaching job at the school it only made sense to join his dad in coaching the basketball team, in a city he loves, that also loves it’s basketball.
“It’s an opportunity to coach with my dad and to give back to the program that has given a lot to me and a lot of other kids in the town,” Ryan said.
Prince Rupert is a huge basketball town, ravenously supporting their Rainmakers and hosting the annual All Native Basketball Tournament.
This love of basketball ingrained in the city is just one of the reasons why Ryan loves coaching here.
“Pride is the big thing here when we go to provincials my phone is blazing. There is a lot of pride and tradition in the program, which is amazing for a kind of small city,” Ryan said.
The transition from player to coach hasn’t been as easy as Ryan thought it was going to be.
“I think it’s harder as a coach because you know the heart rate goes up, and know you can’t really control everything,” Ryan said. “You just hope that what you coached and practiced is going to be enough for the kids. But they get out there and do it, And do it well.”
Ryan said the family dynamic on the sidelines can be a bit tense, but he knows that he has much to learn from his dad before he can go on to coach a team on his own.
“He’s got a ridiculous amount of knowledge about the game. You just learn as much as you can. Continuing some of the stuff he does and making some stuff my own,” Ryan said.
And while it definitely doesn’t go smoothly all the time, Ryan still knows that dad knows best.
“We definitely have our disagreements but at the end of the day he is still the head coach, and like I said he will tell you the same thing, he’s forgotten more than I know,” Ryan said with a laugh.
With years of playing and coaching under his belt, Bishop hopes to coach his own team one day, regardless of level. And when his time comes as a coach, he knows he has a pretty great mentor to look to.
“I hope I have the same passion,” Ryan said. “You sit and you watch from a different viewpoint and see the amount of work he puts in, and you just sit back and go wow.”
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