A bit of Chemeketa hoops history was given a permanent place in regional sports history, as the 1982-83 Chemeketa men’s basketball team was enshrined in the Northwest Athletic Conference Hall of Fame during a June 1 ceremony at the Salem Red Lion.
“35 years was a long time ago, they didn’t even have photographers then,” team member Pat Garlock joked during the ceremony.
Coached by Rick Adelman, the Chiefs finished with an overall record of 24-6, winning the Oregon Community College Athletic Association championship, then moving on to win the National Junior College Athletic Association District 18 title. That run included Chemeketa being the first team from Oregon to beat Southern Idaho on their home court.
After the season, Adelman was hired by Dr. Jack Ramsay as an assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers, eventually winning over 1,000 games as a head coach in the NBA with five teams.
Garlock recalled the team playing in the Salem Armory at the time before the Storm Center was built on the Salem campus. It was Adelman’s pro experience that drew many of the players to play at Chemeketa.
“To have that experience crescendo tonight is really big for us,” Garlock said.
Andy Jones, one of the team’s assistant coaches, noted the camaraderie the championship team shared — and continued to share at the event.
“It’s been 35 years since some of them have seen each other,” Jones said. “But as I watched them interact and talk, it was like they’d seen each other last week.”
In addition to the Hall of Fame ceremonies, end of year awards were distributed, and Chemeketa athletes received the Art Fiero Academic Excellence Scholarship for both men and women.
Baseball pitcher Kordell Vasbinder of Vancouver won the men’s scholarship, and volleyball defensive specialist Emily Weidlich of Gresham won the women’s scholarship.