The 2019 Maine Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Sunday. The inductees are: front (from left): Becky Moholland Ireland, Mari Warner, Matt Gaudet, Linda Whitney and Stephanie Carter-Thompson; middle: Doug Lisherness, John Donato, Gail Jackson Wolff, Mark Reed and Rick Simonds; and back: Jim Beattie, John Conley, Scott Saft, Jeff Bowers, Derek Vogel and Max Good. Credit: Ernie Clark | BDN

Six years into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame’s history, 124 players, coaches, officials and other contributors as well as nine teams have been inducted for their impact on a game that remains so much a rite of winter in the Pine Tree State.

But as much as the hall reflects individual success and teamwork on the court, it often is a measure of each inductee’s support system and the bonds created by the sport that often add to a family’s chemistry.

“Basketball has just been a tremendous vehicle for us to be able to have a lot of opportunities and experiences,” said Mark Reed of Carmel, one of 16 new MBHOF members inducted during ceremonies Sunday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

“Whether those are opportunities for relationships with other people or whether it’s opportunities to play or coach big in moments or tough moments, for all of that basketball has been the vehicle to get you there and helps you experience life and a lot of growth.”

Reed’s experiences stem from a multigenerational link to the sport.

His father, Roger Reed, was a 2015 MBHOF inductee after coaching Bangor High School to eight state championships over 27 years — including the chance to coach Mark Reed’s teams to the 1993 Class A state championship and a second Easern Maine crown in 1992.

Mark Reed went on to play Division I college basketball at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, before returning to Maine where he joined the coaching ranks, first at Brewer High School and now at Hermon High School, where he guided the Hawks to a 22-0 record and the Class B state championship in 2018.

Now Reed is coaching his son, Eli, a rising junior at Hermon, while daughter Lyndsee will be a freshman at the school who will join the Hawks’ perennially powerful cheering squad coached by Mark’s wife, Kristie Reed.

“The thing everybody hopes is that it becomes bigger than the game,” he said. “The lessons learned, the character that’s built, the things you learn because you get to meet so many people from so many different areas of life and developing those relationships and the relationships you have with your players, the amount of time really adds up.

“Certainly being inducted and with Dad having been part of that second [hall of fame] class is a privilege and an honor. It has been such a big part of our lives and our careers, and probably for the wives it’s been a really big part of what’s been going on, too.”

Stephanie Carter-Thompson, another member of the MBHOF Class of 2019, knows both sides of that familial equation.

The 5-foot-11 center scored 2,167 points for Schenck High School of East Millinocket while leading the Wolverines to consecutive Class C state championships in 1987, 1988 and 1989 and was named the state’s 1989 Miss Basketball as well as a three-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine first-team choice.

Carter-Thompson went on to play basketball at the University of Maine and Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, from where she earned a nursing degree.

Since then she’s worked as a nurse and watched over her coaching husband, Darrick, and their three basketball-playing children — daughter Morgan and sons Justin and Travis, each of whom scored more than 1,000 points while being coached by their father at Schenck.

“Basketball definitely means a lot to us. Darrick and I grew up in basketball families and I think we raised our kids to try to get involved in sports and be good teammates and be good leaders,” she said. “I think basketball teaches you a lot, not just about sports but about life. You can learn a lot from that and grow as a person and grow as a player, and they all have.”

Like their mother, the rest of the Thompsons have experienced considerable basketball success. Morgan and Justin each played in a regional championship game under their dad, who has coached the Schenck boys team for the past five years after seven seasons as the Wolverines’ girls basketball head coach.

And last winter Travis Thompson led Schenck to its first Class D regional championship since 2010.

“There’s always been some sibling rivalry, obviously the two boys more than anyone else just because they’re boys,” Carter-Thompson said. ‘But at the end of it all, they all want to see each other succeed.

“And part of our situation is that for the last eight or nine years Darrick has been coaching a child of ours, so when you come home from a game that might not have gone the way you wanted it to, not only do you have the coaching aspect but there’s the parenting aspect of that, too, so sometimes I’ve had to play the referee a little bit.”

Carter-Thompson’s role as an organizer within her basketball family faced the ultimate scheduling conflict late last February, when Justin’s Husson University team was playing for the North Atlantic Conference championship on the same day Darrick and Travis’ high school squad was battling for the Class D North crown.

Both teams won.

“They wanted to be there for each other but they just couldn’t,” she said. “But just knowing that they want that for each other and they want each other to succeed makes me happy as a parent.”

Other players and coaches inducted on Sunday were Jim Beattie, Jeff Bowers, John Conley, John Donato, Matt Gaudet, Max Good, Gail Jackson Wolff, Doug Lisherness, Becky Moholland Ireland, Scott Saft, Rick Simonds, Derek Vogel, Mari Warner and Linda Whitney.

The 1963 Morse High School and 1963 Stearns High School boys basketball teams were also added to the hall while Mike Bouchard, Bill Burney, Leigh Campbell, Al Halliday, Hank Madore, John “Jeddy” Newman, Jay Ramsdell and Dick Sturgeon were inducted as Legends of the Game.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...