When Kevin Whitmore was in high school and applying to colleges, he never considered Colby. Whitmore practically grew up on the Waterville campus, where his father, Dick Whitmore, was men’s basketball coach. Even as a first-year student at Dartmouth College, when he was looking to transfer to a Division III school, Colby wasn’t initially on Whitmore’s radar. Then Roy Dow, a friend and assistant basketball coach at Colby, asked him to consider coming home.

“Bowdoin was at the top of my list. The Colby thought had never crossed my mind,” Whitmore said. “But when I thought about it more, it made perfect sense to me. Of all the decisions in my life, that was one of the better ones.”

Whitmore transferred to Colby, where he played basketball for his father. In three seasons with the Mules, Whitmore scored 1,357 points, earning All-America honors as a senior in 1991. On Sunday, Whitmore will join his father in the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame.

The 2016 Maine Basketball Hall of Fame class also includes Mike McGee, a standout player at Lawrence High School, Colby, and Clark University, who won more than 300 games as Lawrence’s head boys basketball coach, and Waterville Senior High School graduate Gregg Frame, who went on to score more than 1,000 points at Dartmouth.

The induction ceremony will take place at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Sunday.

“It’s a great honor. To think a group of quality basketball people think my playing days are worthy of this type of recognition is cool,” Whitmore said.

Once Whitmore considered transferring, the positives of Colby fell into place. He was familiar with the school and the players. He knew he’d get the opportunity to play for a great coach. The fact that the coach was his father wasn’t a big deal to Whitmore at the time.

“I spent a lot of days at practice growing up. His booming voice and his attention to detail, his excitement, I was used to all of it,” Whitmore said. “I was a player going into a situation with a lot of talented, committed guys, and I was just one of them.”

The 6-foot-3 Whitmore immediately contributed to the Mules, helping the team win ECAC titles in 1990 and 1991. He was the New England Division III Player of the Year as a senior.

“Kevin was a great combination of smoothness and strength. He was a defensive player of the highest order,” Dick Whitmore said. “He’s one of the best defensive players we ever had.”

A guard-forward hybrid, Whitmore could play inside and out at both ends of the court. Dick Whitmore recalled having him defend in the post on occasion.

“It was something I took a lot of pride in,” Whitmore said of his defense.

Offensively, Whitmore discovered the 3-point shot in college. A 1987 graduate of Waterville Senior High School, Whitmore played high school basketball in an era just before the introduction of the 3-pointer to the game. At Colby, Whitmore made 188 threes in his three seasons.

“I always enjoyed shooting and working at it,” Whitmore said. “I loved our style of play. Offensively, we liked to be assertive and aggressive. There was so much freedom, it made basketball less complex than it could have been. Every day was fun going to the gym.”

Playing for his father became a joy, Whitmore said.

“He’s a great motivator and he knew how to put people in the right places and the right time,” Whitmore said.

Dick Whitmore said Kevin was one of the team’s hardest working players in practice, and that made his transition on to a very good team seamless.

“He’d always been going to practice since he was young, so he had some great role models,” Dick Whitmore said.

At Waterville High, Whitmore helped the Purple Panthers win the Class A state title in 1985. Waterville reached the state title game again when he was a senior in 1987, losing to Morse. Dick Whitmore recalled Kevin’s effort against Bangor in the regional semifinals his senior year. Waterville won by a point, 44-43, with Kevin scoring more than 20 points, many coming in the pivotal fourth quarter.

“That’s one of the best high school performances I’ve seen,” Dick Whitmore said. “It was a very significant moment for a parent to be able to watch their son play so well in a big game.”

Now an account manager with Stone Coast Fund Services in Portland, Whitmore joins his father as one of the 11 members of the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame with Colby ties. McGee and Harland Storey, who graduated from Colby in 1985 with 1,710 points, join Whitmore is this year’s class.

“I was lucky in my teams at Waterville and Colby were full of talented guys who were team-oriented,” Whitmore said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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