Bimbo Pinkham (top left) poses for a photo with members of the Sumner girls’ basketball team Nov. 28 in Sullivan. Pinkham was one of three former Hancock County high school players named to the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame on Feb. 6. FILE PHOTO

Ellsworth’s Merrill, Bucksport’s Ogden, Sumner’s Pinkham named Maine Basketball Hall of Fame inductees

ELLSWORTH — Three former Hancock County basketball players will be among those inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame this summer, the organization announced Tuesday.

Delmont “Del” Merrill, Keith Ogden and Elwood “Bimbo” Pinkham will be honored at a formal induction ceremony Aug. 19 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. The three will be among 22 former players, coaches and administrators to be inducted.

Merrill, born in 1925, graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1943 after spending four yours with the school’s boys’ basketball team, but his biggest exploits came after his playing career. After returning from World II and coaching basketball at Sumner, Merrill served as the head men’s basketball and baseball coaches at Husson College (now Husson University) as well as serving as the athletic director and later president.

As head coach of the Husson men’s team, Merrill had a record of 197-86 and won seven league championships. After spending time as state basketball commissioner, he received induction into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. Merrill died April 19, 2010.

Ogden, a Bucksport native, led the Golden Bucks to back-to-back state Class B crowns in the late 1970s. The 1978 championship game win over Mexico and 1979 win over Medomak Valley remain Bucksport’s only state championships in the sport.

Following his impressive high school years, Ogden continued his playing career at Husson, where he averaged 14.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game over three seasons. He later became a successful race car driver at Speedway 95 in Hermon.

Pinkham etched his name into Sumner history in 1973 when he scored 38 points a 106-63 win over Yarmouth in the boys’ Class C championship game to give the Tigers their second state title win in four years. He will be one of six people to receive “Legends of the Hall” distinctions at the induction ceremony.

Pinkham, who is now the head girls’ basketball coach at Sumner, previously held the same position at Narraguagus before returning to his alma mater for two separate coaching stints. He was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

Other inductees will include Clinton native Cindy Blodgett, the state’s all-time high school scoring leader with 2,596 points as a player at Lawrence, and Sandi Carver, who led Jonesport-Beals to a state championship in Class D in 1994. Following high school, Blodgett and Carver teamed up at the University of Maine and led the Black Bears four straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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