Matt Gaudet has an extensive award list. 

The Mountain Valley High School graduate was a state champion, Mr. Basketball his senior year in 1991 and a 1,000-point scorer before moving on the Colby College, where he became an ECAC champion.

Matt Gaudet with his parents, Steve and Barbara Gaudet at Colby College when the school named a locker room in his honor. submitted photos

To honor his storied career, Colby decided to dedicate its men’s basketball locker room to Gaudet, “in recognition of the points he scored on the court and the courage and perseverance he exemplifies off the court,” the school said in a news release Wednesday. 

Gaudet said that learning the locker room would be renamed “the Matt Gaudet ‘95 Men’s Basketball Locker Room” was emotional. 

“Tears. Silence. I couldn’t say anything,” Gaudet said. “I was just overwhelmed with emotion. I said that in my speech, and it was really true, heartfelt and honest, that my friends and the Colby community have been very supportive in the 21 years since my accident. It was an overwhelming feeling that they recognized that, although my accident was 21 years ago, the result was a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week change. They recognize I still go through the challenges of being a quadriplegic. They’re proud of me and I still work everyday, pay my bills like everyone else, and live a life that they consider to be successful.”

In 2001, Gaudet hit his head when he jumped off a boat in Puerto Rico and was in a coma for four days


In January 2021, Greg Walsh, a teammate of Gaudet’s at Colby, phoned Gaudet about the possibility of his name being on the new locker room that was being built as part of a new athletic facility at the college.

“They were finishing the athletic complex, and a lot of people raised money for the court naming and they said there was an opportunity to name the locker room, and many people brought up my name,” Gaudet said. “They asked me if that would be OK, and I said, ‘Yeah, I’d love that.’ It was in the pandemic and when we would get together to celebrate was up in the air. It took 18 months to get to this point where we were all out there.”

On Saturday, after months of waiting, Gaudet was joined by friends, family, teammates and coaches at Colby College for the naming ceremony. He called it, “The best place in the world for me to be.” 

“It’s very special to have my name on a plaque at such an amazing state-of-the-art athletic complex at such a prestigious college like Colby, that’s part of it,” Gaudet said. “The other big part was going back there. I love coach (Richard) Whitmore and he always has words to say. To listen and be there with him and the other teammates, to tour the athletic complex and be back at Colby where I spent the best four years, it was great.

“I had such great friends there, and to be at the place it all started — and it’s not only the place it originated, it’s the faces and relationships that I got to see again. Everywhere I turned there was someone that put a smile on my face. It was nothing but happiness and love there.”

In 2019, Colby retired Gaudet’s jersey number, No. 22. He also was elected to the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame that year.

Gaudet currently lives in Minnesota but said that he hopes to move back to Maine soon.

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