Cindy Blodgett, Skip Chappelle, Matt Donahue, Joe Harrington and George Wentworth. In alphabetical order, that’s my first class of inductees into the Maine State Basketball Hall of Fame.

So I’m jumping the gun by a year or two. So my list of inaugural inductees doesn’t match yours. Make me watch Godzilla Dunks on King Kong in its original black and white version for 30 straight nights to get my mind straight.

The Maine State Basketball Hall of Fame will happen. Guests at a reception with former Celtics coach K.C. Jones on July 23 at Bar Harbor’s Kebo Valley Golf Club will hear the proper announcement of the hall’s overdue inception.

Choosing the first inductees is another matter.

Lisa Blais, Jack Coyne, Brad Moore, Doug Roberts and Dick Whitmore.

Jon Jennings arrived in Maine several years ago with the idea of bringing NBA Development League basketball to Portland. As he learned more about the state, he was surprised it had no shrine to basketball. He talked about forming a committee. He mused about building something to showcase memorabilia in the Portland Expo.

He would use his extensive contacts in the basketball world to invite speakers to the annual induction dinners. Maybe Mike Krzyzewski would pull himself away from Duke for a weekend. Jennings asked if I thought Coach K would draw a crowd of paying fans.

Jennings, of course, had something else on his plate. He’s spent much of his time moving the Maine Red Claws from a dream to reality. But he didn’t forget about the hall.

Andy Bedard, Maureen Burchill Cooper, Jon MacDon-ald, Matt Rossignol and Rick Simonds.

Upcountry, others had the same idea. Hey, this isn’t reinventing the wheel. A group coalesced around Peter Webb, the Maine basketball commissioner, Chappelle, the 17-year UMaine basketball coach, and other likeminded fans. They helped get the Maine legislature interested enough to pass a resolution endorsing and authorizing the creation of the Maine State Basketball Hall of Fame.

Coming up with sweat equity and funds was up to the private sector, but at least the ball was rolling.

“We’re creeping right now,” said Chappelle. “We’ve had four or five meetings.”

He ticked off the locations of the meetings. None were south of Bangor. He thought someone from his group had been in contact with Jennings and the Red Claws, but neither Jennings nor anyone on his staff could remember such a conversation.

Ordman Alley, Liz Coffin, Matt Hancock, Robert Pilsbury and Gary Towle.

Who owns this idea shouldn’t matter. “We want to reach out to all 16 counties,” said Chappelle. “It involves the whole state. We’re hoping to work with (Jennings and the Red Claws) and anyone else.”

You shouldn’t doubt Chappelle. Whether it’s fact or fiction, people hear there are two Maines and feel that influence is not shared between the urban South and the rural North. That’s the talk of politics. It need not be the talk of sports and culture. Maine has two sports halls of fame. One basketball hall would suffice.

Raymond Alley, Rachel Bouchard, Jack Feeney, Gary Fifield and Jack Scott.

Chappelle and Jones are longtime friends. So are Jennings and Jones, who helped in bringing the Red Claws’ ownership group together. Jones hosts the Mt. Desert Island YMCA Basketball Week in Bar Harbor in the summer. This year, a golf scramble at Kebo Valley will end the basketball week next Friday. The golf tournament is limited to 32 four-person teams. The reception follows.

Bob Brown, T.J. Caouette, Joanne McCallie, Harland Storey and Bob Warner.

Halls of fame can keep alive the memories and connect today with yesterday. In 1921, William Perkins scored 82 points on 37 field goals and eight foul shots. I want to know more about that guy. The great Valley High of Bingham teams coached by Dwight Littlefield still linger in your mind because those 101 consecutive wins ended just six years ago.

Ten years from now, will Nick Pelotte and his teammates be simply a line in a record book?

Dana Anderson, Tim Bonsant, Brianna Fecteau, Ted Shiro and Terry Waterman.

Did I fail to mention others? Absolutely. It will take years to catalog the treasure that is basketball in Maine.

Better start now.

Staff Writer Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

[email protected]