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The state’s rich basketball history will be celebrated again Sunday with the induction of the sixth class into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
The banquet and induction ceremony is scheduled to start around noon, according to Tony Hamlin, chair of the hall of fame’s board of directors. Tickets, at $55 each, will be available at the door.
Sixteen individuals and two teams will be inducted, and eight Legends of the Game also will be honored.
“We’ve got some people who probably could have gone in before but now they’re going in,” Hamlin said. “It’s a strong class.”
Among the interesting storylines is that of Jim Beattie of South Portland, who ranks as one of the stronger two-sport athletes in Maine history. The 6-foot-6 Beattie was a Bangor Daily News All-Maine selection at South Portland High School in 1971 and 1972 who went on to earn All-New England honors at Dartmouth, but he is better known for his baseball career.
Beattie pitched in the Major Leagues for nine years, including his first two seasons with the New York Yankees. The righthander pitched a complete-game victory in Game 5 of the 1978 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers to help the Bronx Bombers win that year’s championship.
Beattie pitched from 1980 to 1986 for the Seattle Mariners, then after his retirement as a player served as general manager of the Montreal Expos from 1995 to 2001.
Jim Beattie is an interesting case where he’s known for baseball but was a heck of a basketball player, too,” Hamlin said.
Other storylines include that of Doug Lisherness, a 2,000-point scorer as a guard for Strong High School during the 1960s — long before the 3-point shot was introduced. Lisherness then served in the Vietnam War before returning home to western Maine where he coached the Mt. Abram High School of Salem girls’ basketball program to more than 300 victories and state championships in 1991 and 2007.
Among other coaches being recognized is Max Good, a Maine native who went on to coach collegiately at Eastern Kentucky, Bryant College, Pratt Community College, Nevada-Las Vegas and Loyola Marymount.
But Good is best known in the Pine Tree State for his decade (1989-99) at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, where his postgraduate teams won 90.2 percent of their games and captured five New England Prep School Athletic Council championships with rosters that included such future NBA players as Cuttino Mobley, Caron Butler, Brad Miller, Erick Barkley and DerMarr Johnson.
Butler is expected to be on hand Sunday to speak on Good’s behalf during the induction ceremony.
Other inductees in the Class of 2019 are former South Portland and University of Southern Maine standout Jeff Bowers; Stephanie Carter-Thompson, a three-time state champion at Schenck High School of East Millinocket; John Conley, a three-time state champion at Morse High School of Bath and four-year starter at Dartmouth College; John Donato, who has coached Maine school girl basketball teams to five state titles, 11 regional championships and more than 500 victories; Matt Gaudet, a two-time BDN All-Maine choice who led Mountain Valley High School of Rumford to a state championship in 1990 before going on to star at Colby College; and Gail Jackson, a three-time state champion at Westbrook High School and one of the top rebounders in University of New Hampshire history.
Also, Becky Moholland Ireland, a standout at Calais High School who amassed 1,221 points and 946 rebounds during her college career at UMaine-Machias and Husson University; Mark Reed, a high school state champion as a player (Bangor) and coach (Hermon) who played collegiately at Division I Liberty University and will join his father Roger Reed (Class of 2015) in the hall; Scott Saft, who led Waterville High School to the 1985 Class A state championship and went on to earn All-New England Small College Athletic Conference honors at Amherst College; Rick Simonds, the longtime former Saint Joseph’s College coach who led the Monks to 11 conference titles and six national tournament appearances; Derek Vogel, a state-record 3,000-point scorer at Westbrook College who played nine years professionally in England, Russia, Yugoslavia and Germany; Mari Warner, a BDN All-Mainer player at Thornton Academy in Saco who also played at the University of Maine before embarking on a coaching career that featured 20 years at the University of Albany; and Linda Whitney, a pioneer of women’s basketball in Maine who coached Lake Region High School of Naples to the first women’s state title in 1975 and went on to post 314 coaching wins before retiring in 2000.
Teams being inducted are the 1963 teams from Morse High School of Bath and Stearns High School of Millinocket. Those teams met twice that season, with Morse defeating Stearns in the Class LL state championship game and Stearns winning the rematch in overtime to capture the New England championship.
Entering the hall as Legends of the Game are former Katahdin of Stacyville center Mike Bouchard; Cony of Augusta standout Bill Burney, best remembered for his 53-point performance against Presque Isle during the 1969 tournament; Leigh Campbell, the official scorer for Bates College basketball for nearly 50 years as well as an official scorer at the Maine high school tournament for decades; Hank Madore, who played at the semipro level for 20 years for his hometown Millinocket Pills; Al Halliday, a star athlete from Waterville who later coached the 10th Army basketball team in Germany before embarking on a 50-year officiating career; John “Jeddy” Newman, who helped Cheverus High School of Portland win the 1961 state championship and sent on to coach at Bonny Eagle of Standish and Thornton Academy of Saco; Jay Ramsdell, the former general manager of the Maine Windjammers of the Continental Basketball Association who at age 24 became the youngest commissioner of any professional sports league at age 24 with the CBA in 1998; and Dick Sturgeon, an All-Yankee Conference player at the University of Maine who went on to coach at Madison and Cony high schools and at the University of Southern Maine.