The Maine Basketball Hall of Fame on Tuesday announced its list of 2018 inductees, in addition to its Legends of the Game and its Honored Team.
Here are the bios for those who will join the hall of fame in August.
Brenda Beckwith became the first player at Lawrence High School to score 1,000 points in 1977 as she averaged 30 points and 15 rebounds per game as a senior and was named to the Bangor Daily News All-Maine team. At William Penn College, Beckwith’s team won the 1981 AIAW National Championship. She’s been a successful girls’ high school coach at Winslow and Messalonskee of Oakland and now coaches the boys’ freshman team at Winslow.
Paul Belanger was a standout multi-sport athlete at Sanford High School and Colby College. In 1976, he earned the Fitzpatrick Award as the state’s best football player and in 1977 he was a BDN second-team All-Maine basketball player. Belanger went on to score 1,154 points in four years as a starter at Colby and earned 11 varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball while on the Mayflower Hill campus
Jim Bessey starred in basketball and football at Williams High School in his native Oakland, then played basketball at what is now the University of Maine at Farmington. In 38 years as a varsity high school coach, Bessey compiled a record of 479-293 — a 421-267 mark in 34 seasons at Mt. Blue and a 58-26 record in four at Madison.The multi-time Coach of the Year now serves as an assistant coach at UMF.
Cindy Blodgett of Clinton led Lawrence High of Fairfield to an 84-4 record and four consecutive Class A state championships from 1991 through 1994 and became the state’s all-time high school scoring leader with 2,596 points. She earned All-America status while leading UMaine to four straight NCAA appearances and the 5-foot-9 guard poured in 3,005 career points and broke 20 school records. Blodgett was the sixth pick in the first round of the 1998 WNBA draft by Cleveland and played for the Rockers and the Sacramento Monarchs.
Sandi Carver was the 1993 Maine Sunday Telegram Female Athlete of the Year as a dominant volleyball player, softball pitcher who also led Jonesport-Beals to the Class D state title in basketball. Carver then helped the University of Maine women’s basketball program earn four consecutive NCAA tournament bids and captained the Black Bears as a senior. Her father Dwight was named a Legend of the Hall in 2017.
Dean Erickson was a standout point guard at Medomak Valley, leading the squad to the 1975 and 1977 Class B state finals and winning the gold ball in 1977. Erickson, a first-team 1977 BDN All-Maine selection, played three years at Brown University. He lives in Los Angeles and owns an investment advisory firm. Erickson has published several books and had a recurring role on the television series “Frazier.”
Peter Hamlin averaged 36 points per game during his senior year at Milo High in 1968 and finished with more than 1,000 career points. At Ricker College in Houlton, Peter Hamlin poured in more than 2,000 points and was named to the All-Maine college team four consecutive years. During his senior season in college, Hamlin averaged more than 24 points and 10 rebounds a game.
Jeff Hart, a Farmington native, has coached the Camden-Rockport/Camden Hills Windjammers for more than 30 years. En route to nearly 500 wins, his teams have won five state championships and nine regional titles. Hart’s 2010 team went undefeated on its way to a state crown. Hart, who played for fellow incoming Hall of Famer Jim Bessey, has been named Class B Coach of the Year twice and is a New England Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.
Barbara Krause led Freeport to a state championship her senior year in 1976 and averaged 22.3 points and 14.9 rebounds as a first-year player at Bowdoin College. Krause transferred to Duke University, where the two-time captain set — and still holds — the school record with 24 rebounds in a game. Her average of 9.9 rebounds per contest is the second-best in Duke history and tied for seventh-best in ACC history. Krause went on to play professionally for two years in Germany before earning her law degree from Cornell University The member of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame is deputy general counsel at Appalachian State University.
Bill McAvoy, a Sherman native, played on an undefeated Class S state championship team at Sherman High School in 1967, then was a Maine College All-Star for three years at Unity College and became the Rams’ career scoring leader. As a coach at Central Aroostook of Mars Hill, Katahdin of Stacyville and Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook, McAvoy has won more than 400 games.
Before becoming president of Husson College, Del Merrill was a professor, athletic director, administrator and coach at the school. His Husson hoop teams went 197-86 and won seven league championships and two state small-college crowns from 1955 to 1968. His combined college and high school coaching record was 548-224. Merrill, who also was the state basketball commissioner, was a 1997 inductee into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame..
Bill Obermeyer coached the Kennebunk High School program from 1967 to 1994,, amassing 316 victories. Obermeyer, who graduated in 1958 from what is now USM, was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 1999 for baseball and basketball. On the hardwood, he scored 884 points and was team captain and most valuable player as a senior.
Keith Ogden, a 6-foot-8 power forward with a soft shooting touch, led Bucksport to State Class B championships in 1978 and 1979 and was a two-time BDN All-Maine honoree. Ogden played three years at Husson, scoring 1,149 points and snagging 732 rebounds (9.4 rebounds per game.) Ogden was inducted into Husson’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
Leroy Patterson is considered one of Maine’s greatest athletes. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound forward scored more than 1,000 points in basketball at Bangor and earned second-team all-state honors as a junior and first-team recognition as a senior, when he led the Rams to the 1962 Eastern Maine Class LL championship. A two-time high school All-American football player, Patterson earned a football scholarship at the University of Cincinnati where he was named most valuable player of the Bearcats’ freshman team.
Joe Russo was a three-year player for Portland High School, including an undefeated season in 1974. The Munjoy Hill native played four seasons of basketball at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and was inducted into the UMPI Hall of Fame in 1996. In 27 years as head coach back at Portland High, he’s amassed more than 400 wins with five state titles and seven regional crowns.
Rick Woods led Morse of Bath to a 61-60, double-overtime win over Stearns in the 1963 Class LL state final before the Shipbuilders fell to the Minutemen 56-54 at the New England championships. As a senior, Woods was named to the BDN All-Maine first team along with teammate Joe Harrington as well as to the All-New England first team. Woods went on to be a three-year starter at the University of Maine.
Legends of the Hall
Jim Beaudry was director of athletics for 21 years at St. Francis College/University of New England, where he also coached baseball, basketball, soccer, cross country and golf. Beaudry is a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
Bill Fletcher was a longtime high school teacher, coach and administrator at Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln, Falmouth, Penobscot Valley of Howland, Dexter and Brewer. He also. directed the Eastern Maine high school basketball tournament from 1986 to 2012.
Dwight Hunter is perhaps best known as the 41-year athletic administrator at Caribou High School. Hunter, younger brother of Hall of Fame coach Gene Hunter, graduated in 1955 from Presque Isle High School, where he excelled at basketball.
Elwood “Bimbo” Pinkham is one of the iconic names in Maine basketball. In 1973, he scored 38 points to lead the Sumner of East Sullivan to a state championship. Pinkham, who later coached at his alma mater and at Narraguagus of Harrington, was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
Thaxter Trafton was an outstanding player at Morse High School and Husson College in the 1950s and coached at John Bapst of Bangor. Trafton also was executive director of Bass Park in Bangor — home of the Bangor Auditorium — and served as president of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and the International Basketball League.
Arthur Warren played at Brunswick High and the University of Maine, where he was team captain as a senior and set a rebounding record that lasted nearly two decades. He went on to a 45-year career as an administrator, educator and coach at Winthrop High School and Gardiner Area High School.
The 1960 Lewiston boys’ basketball team capped its undefeated season with a Class A state title, topping Brewer, 81-64. The Blue Devils, who advanced to the New England Championship, were led by BDN All-Maine selections Paul Fortin, John Doyle and Richard Therriault.