Story last updated at 3/18/2009 - 8:56 pm
JUNEAU - "Hoop Time: Gastineau Channel Basketball Through the Years," will open at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum on Friday, March 20 from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. Featuring memorable players, fans, coaches, mascots, uniforms and even Carlos Boozer's shoes, this exhibit chronicles the rousing rivalries played out on the court between Juneau and Douglas and other Southeast Alaska communities.
Coinciding with the start of the 63rd Gold Medal Tournament, the exhibit also highlights the 63 year history of the tournament, the role of the Juneau Lions Club, and the impact the tournament has had on various communities in Southeast.
With the first organized game recorded in 1903, basketball has been an integral part of Juneau's history for both men and women. The sport was developed as a game that could be played in a small indoor space in the winter, making it in many ways ideal for Southeast Alaska's climate.
The initial idea for the exhibit came from a Juneau History Grant project submitted by the Basketball History Committee, which includes former Juneau and Douglas basketball players and fans: Mike Grummett, JHS '55 Chairman, Dick Forrest, JHS '52, Tony McCormick DHS '54, Dick McCormick DHS, '46 and Mike Blackwell, JHS '55. The Committee set out to create a comprehensive history of the rivalry between Juneau and Douglas' basketball teams. The result was an extensive five-volume account of not only basketball, but an interesting reflection of 50 years of changes in the communities along the Gastineau Channel.
"When the Museum read the Juneau History grant proposal from the ad hoc 'basketball committee' group, we realized that the research they were undertaking was a perfect fit for an exhibit on the history of basketball in Juneau," says Museum Director Jane Lindsey. "The committee's research was a perfect fit with the 63 years of files, photos, stories and programs from the Juneau Lions Club detailing Gold Medal and ball teams from all over Southeast Alaska."
Guest curator Sarah Asper-Smith has also included segments of recorded interviews on Mp3 players which will be available for visitors to listen to as they walk through the gallery. Guests can hear stories about legendary slam dunks, championship games and the lasting effect of traveling between communities has had on players, teams and host families.
On Saturday, March 21 at 10:30 am Lion Monarch, Dr. Walter Soboleff and members of the Lions Club will present The History of Gold Medal as part of the Museum's on-going Coffee and Collections Series. For more details on the program and exhibit,visit juneau.org/parkrec/museum or call 586-3572.