One of the best known athletes to attend UBC, he was an outstanding UBC basketball player during the '30s leading the 'Birds to the Canadian championship in '37. He later led several city teams to Canadian championships. While at UBC and after, was one of the best known and successful tennis players in the province.
Jimmy Bardsley, one of the best tennis players of the 1930s, was an all-around athlete who also excelled at basketball at UBC. Bardsley first appeared in campus athletics as a member of the 1930/31 UBC Intermediate 'B' basketball team. Also in 1931 he was a bit of a surprise in upsetting the top seeded UBC tennis player in the fall tournament.
During 1931/32 he was the leading scorer on the Senior 'B' basketball team before being called up to the Senior' A' squad after Christmas. Toward the end of the season young Jimmy was one of the leaders on the defending Canadian champions. Bardsley was also selected to be part of UBC's track and field team hosting a meet with the College of Puget Sound in March of 1932.
In 1932/33 Bardsley was now one of the prominent tennis players on the UBC team as well as a starter and leader on one of the best UBC Varsity basketball teams. He, along with Bob Osborne, Ken Wright and Harry “Pi” Campbell, were the team's top scorers this year and was considered one of the team's hardest workers.
In the summer of 1933, Bardsley dominated local tennis, as he was the winner of the men's singles, men's doubles and mixed doubles titles at the Vancouver Public Courts tournament. During the 1933/34 basketball season, Bardsley was instrumental in leading the Thunderbirds to another fine showing - the lower mainland finals.
Bardsley returned as captain of the Thunderbird basketball team in 1934/35 and was described as one of the "ablest forwards in BC basketball". He also assumed the role of top scorer of the team. "Bardsley Once Again Scintillates for the Blue and Gold Five". This season he set a UBC record for the most points in one season and became the first UBC Thunderbird basketball player to average at least 10 points per game. He was the only Varsity player to be picked to the all-star team this season.
After taking a year off, Bardsley returned to UBC in 1936 to bolster the UBC Thunderbirds basketball team, as he was now being considered one of the top players in the city. He also lined up with UBC "seconds" rugby team this same season.
As captain of the basketball team under coach Maury Van Vliet, Bardsley was for the second year in a row top scorer on the team. He was instrumental in leading the UBC Thunderbirds to the 1937 City Championship, the BC Championship against the famed Victoria Dominoes and eventually all the way to the Canadian Senior Basketball title, defeating the Windsor Fords.
Bardsley continued to play senior basketball after finishing UBC and was a member of the 1938 Canadian basketball champions, Vancouver Westerns. Later in 1938 he returned to the campus to coach the UBC Senior 'B' team. Bardsley continued to star on Senior 'A' basketball teams across the country well into the 1940's.
Jim Bardsley was the first "scoring star" of UBC basketball, a game in which he was prominent as a player at the national level for fifteen years. He has been inducted into both the BC Sports Hall of Fame and the Basketball BC Hall of Fame. His basketball accomplishments are complimented by the fact he was among the finest tennis players ever to attend UBC.
This Inductee is also in the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
Researched and written by Fred Hume, UBC Athletics Historian