Cindy Blodgett has played in basketball arenas across the nation, including Madison Square Garden in New York City.
But there really was only one place that captured her heart.
“For me, the Bangor Auditorium was my favorite place to play,” said Blodgett, now an assistant coach at the University of Rhode Island. “It’s a special place. A special building. I wish somehow they could keep it.”
The historic Bangor Auditorium will be torn down in May, replaced by a modern, 6,000-seat arena.
“It just had a great history, the stories and legacies of players who established their careers there,” she said. “It had a great atmosphere, the fans were so close. I really think it’s our equivalent of Madison Square Garden.”
Blodgett, who grew up in Clinton and went on to play in the WNBA, never lost at the Bangor Auditorium in her high school career.
She led Lawrence High of Fairfield to four consecutive Eastern Class A and state championships (1991-94).
She holds the Eastern Maine tournament record for points in a game (47, in 1994) and in a tournament (123, also 1994).
She also holds records for field goals in a game (16), field goals in a tournament (47) most free throws in a game (16).
“It was very much a shooter’s gym,” she said. “I don’t know why, but it just was. And I loved that there were all kinds of dead spots on the floor. It added to the character of the building.”
But her love affair with the building began long before she first ran onto the floor.
“When I was growing up, I remember watching all the games on television during February vacation,” said Blodgett. “Class D, Class C, Class B, Class A. They were all on. And I watched every one of them.
“It was at that point that I began dreaming about the day that I could potentially play there.”
Blodgett graduated with a state-record 2,596 points in her high school career.
She went to the University of Maine, where she led the Black Bears to four NCAA tournament appearances and scored 3,005 points.
She later returned to coach UMaine, but was fired after four seasons, with a 24-94 record.
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: