This is Dick Meader’s summer of fame. It’s been a long time coming, and it’s very well deserved.

A few weeks ago, Meader was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. On Sunday, he’ll go into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame. Soon, Meader will be back at the University of Maine at Farmington, getting the men’s basketball team ready for the 2015-16 season, which will be his 40th season as a head coach.

You don’t get to spend four decades doing something unless you’re doing it right. Not that we needed it, but Meader’s twin Hall of Fame inductions are proof that he’s one of the good ones. Of course, Meader will not tell you that.

“I’m sure there’s plenty of more deserving people,” Meader said, pausing. “But I’m not going to turn it down.”

Meader took over the UMF program in 1993. Prior to that, he was head men’s basketball coach at Thomas College from 1971 to 1988, and the school’s athletic director from 1972 to 1990. He not only coaches his Terriers, Meader helped make sure others got to play, too, starting the women’s sports program at Thomas.

Basketball strategies comes and go. There’s a lot of ways to play the game but the fundamentals will never change. Using those fundamentals in new ways, that’s the challenge that keeps Meader invigorated.

“The love of learning something new about basketball, about finding something that will make us better,” Meader said. “I always say, there’s many ways to build a house, but it has to be built on a solid foundation.”

How solid is the foundation on which Meader built his career? Look at what happened on Friday night.

On Friday night, Meader’s family held a surprise party for him at Rivalries, the Portland restaurant owned by Meader’s son, Lance. Seventy-five of Meader’s former players attended.

“That just floored me,” Meader said.

The two Halls of Fame Meader entered this summer were the third and fourth of his career. Meader was a member of the inaugural Hall of Fame class at both Thomas and UMF. Meader has more than 450 wins and has won a basketball Coach of the Year honor 10 times, spanning five decades. Nobody can say the game has passed Meader by. Add to that five Coach of the Year honors Meader earned as baseball coach at UMF from 1994 to 2010.

Add to that the men who played for Meader who are now coaches. Meader named Dirigo High School’s Travis Magnusson and Tyler Tracy at Poland High, as well as Sam Boynton, an assistant coach at Stonehill College. There are many others.

“Guys who played for you, watching them go out and coach is such a thrill,” Meader said.

In a sense, Meader’s coaching tree extends to the NBA. Meader founded the Pine Tree Basketball Camp with former Colby coach Dick Whitmore in 1974, and was a co-owner of the camp until 2011. Among the thousands of campers who came through the Pine Tree Camp are three current NBA coaches: Steve Clifford (Charlotte Hornets), Brett Brown (Philadelphia 76ers) and Mike Malone (Denver Nuggets). Three NBA players came through the Pine Tree Camp, too: Jason Williams, Mario Elie, and Basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullin. They had success despite what little influence he may have had, Meader joked.

On Sunday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Meader will be presented for induction into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame by his son, Lance, who played basketball for his father for two years at UMF. This induction, as well as the New England Basketball Hall of Fame honor earlier this summer, are not an exclamation point at the end of Meader’s career. They’re a nudge to keep going.

“I get up in the morning and honestly, try to think of something I’d rather do,” Meader said. “I can’t think of anything.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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