Maine Basketball of Fame Inductee Larry Gardner talks about his induction

Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 7:44 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The Maine Basketball Hall of Fame will be inducting two County Coaches on Sunday. Larry Gardner of Fort Fairfield and Jeff Hudson of Presque Isle will be be recognized at the Cross Insurance Center. Earlier this week Hudson talked about receiving the honor and tonight Gardner gives his thoughts on being inducted.

Larry Gardner:”It’s a terrific honor. Jeff said he was humbled, and I feel the same way. I am very blessed to have a long career that I have had. There’s been a lot of support and help along the way.”

Gardner coached varsity for 34 years starting with the boy’s team in 1980 and coaching for nine years. . He won two Regional Basketball titles in 1984 and 1988. Both times they lost in the State Game in Augusta. After a ten year break Gardner took over as girl’s basketball coach and in 2010 he led the team to a regional and state championship. He said that he coached in six different decades

Gardner:” That is a long time to be coaching. I did a little middle school level with the girls when our daughter was that age. We did all the Tiger Cub progams and things like that. It was a long time involved in basketball.”

Gardner won 433 career games during his 34 year career and he said it was very rewarding and a tribute to the players

Gardner:” Kids worked hard and were dedicated. As a coach you are not going to win any championships if your kids are not committed and dedicated and hard working.”

He said during his career he developed some great friendships with other coaches and former players.

Gardner:” Just have a lot of connections and having all those friendships overall those years in the coaching fraternity.”

The inductee says that he always took great pride on how hard his team played and also on how they acted on the court.

Gardner:” I think we set a pretty good standard for championships, but also the sportsmanship. We have sportsmanship banners in there too and that is certainly rewarding as well when you know you can play with sportsmanship and class.”

Sunday will be even more special for Gardner because his daughter LIbby will be introducing him during the ceremony.

Gardner:” Very proud of her and she had the opportunity to play for me for four years and I had the opportunity to coach her which was another rewarding moment.”