Aroostook County’s love and support of basketball hits the golf course Friday when the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame Golf Scramble is held at the Aroostook Valley Golf Club in Fort Fairfield.
It’s the third year for the event, which raises funds for the fledgling Maine Basketball Hall.
The hall of fame has secured a wing in the new Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Thirty-six teams of 144 golfers have registered to compete in the event.
“This is basketball country up here. A lot of people come out to show their support, but we’re getting teams from downstate as well,” tourney director Larry Gardner said. “We’ve got some great basketball people playing — coaches, players, the whole mix.”
The tourney originated when former University of Maine men’s basketball head coach Skip Chappelle and current Maine basketball commissioner Peter Webb, two pivotal organizers of the Maine Basketball Hall, approached Gardner with the idea of Aroostook Valley Golf Club being the northern site among three fundraisers, with two others in central and southern Maine.
“The other two may not have worked out as well, but this has become a great event,” said Gardner, the Fort Fairfield High School girls basketball coach who also has organized golf events for his school’s booster club.
Friday’s fundraiser will pull in some of Maine’s past basketball greats including Chappelle, who starred at Old Town High School and UMaine; former Stearns of Millinocket standout Steve Pound; Van Buren High and UMaine star Matt Rossignol; and ex-Caribou High standout Neil Griffeth.
Other past standout players and coaches who will play include Larry Worcester of Washburn, Bill Casavant of Presque Isle, Larry Murphy of Fort Kent and Steve Shaw of Easton.
The oldest participant will be former sportscaster Dewey DeWitt, a member of the Maine Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
The 91-year-old DeWitt “plays golf practically every day and plays well,” Gardner said.
Four-person teams compete in the event and the defending champions, basketball officials Mike Cote, Marty Bouchard, Steve Clark and Curt Anderson, will return.
The event begins with a shotgun start of 11 a.m. and golfers also will aim for a hole-in-one on the fourth and 15th holes with respective prizes of $10,000 and a car supplied by Griffeth’s Ford-Lincoln-Honda dealerships in Caribou and Presque Isle.
An auction will also be held after the tourney. Some of the items include a set of seats from the old Bangor Auditorium, tickets to Red Sox and Celtics games and sports memorabilia.
Gardner is still accepting applications for the tourney and those seeking to enter may call him at 551-5001.