New England Hall to honor six Dartmouth basketball alumni

by CJ Ryan | 10/6/06 5:00am

Six men and women who have contributed to the Big Green's basketball programs will be inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony will honor these individuals for their contributions to New England basketball. The ceremony will take place today at the University of Rhode Island's Ryan Center.

The group includes four graduates, five former players and a former senior associate athletic director.

Courtney Banghart '00, the most recent graduate of the honorees, was a first team All-Ivy guard and team MVP in 1999 and 2000. She helped her team to two consecutive Ivy League titles as a junior and senior.

Banghart, originally from Amherst, N.H., was a standout at Souhegan High School and will be inducted as a New Hampshire High School Female Player. She enters her fourth season as an assistant coach for the Big Green women's basketball team.

Brian Burke '84 will be honored as a Rhode Island High School Male Player. Burke, a co-captain on the 1983-84 Big Green men's team, earned first team All-Ivy recognition and team MVP honors as a senior. The Associated Press picked Burke as an honorable mention All-America in his senior season.

At Pilgrim High School in Warwick, R.I., Burke was a three-time All-State basketball star. He also found success as a baseball pitcher, for which he was featured in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd in August of 1980.

Bill Raynor '74, a former All-America player at Catholic Memorial High in West Roxbury, Mass., will be inducted in the Dual category as both a player and a coach.

Raynor was named the Ivy League's sophomore of the year in the 1971-72 season and captained the 1973-74 Dartmouth team. Raynor served as an assistant coach in the Ivy League at both Harvard and Brown before a five-year run as head coach at Holy Cross.

Gene Booth '57, regarded as one of the finest Big Green defensive players in program history, played for coach Doggie Julian's basketball team from 1954-57. At Dartmouth, Booth was responsible for guarding the opponent's most threatening scorer. He will be honored in the category of Semi-Professional.

Booth's defensive prowess was never more important than in the opening game of the 1956 NCAA Tournament when he effectively shut down West Virginia's Rod Hundley. Hundley came into the game averaging more than 29 points per game but Booth was so effective in guarding him that Hundley could not manage a shot in the final eight minutes of play.

Dartmouth went on to win the opener in overtime 61-59 at Madison Square Garden, though the Big Green lost to Canisius, 66-58, in the second round of the East Regional.

Lawrence F. Killick came to the College in 1943 as a U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) trainee from the University of Vermont. He averaged 10.0 points per game in his 13 games as a forward for Dartmouth in the 1943-44 season.

Following his World War II military service, Killick returned to the University of Vermont where he is regarded as one of the finest basketball players in Catamount history. Killick will be inducted as a Division I College Male Player.

Louise O'Neal, a former Dartmouth senior associate director of athletics from 1979-89, will be inducted as a Division II College Women's Coach. O'Neal retired as athletic director at Wellesley College in June 2006 after more than four decades as a teacher, coach and administrator.

Considered a pioneer in women's basketball, O'Neal coached the nationally successful team at Southern Connecticut State University from 1962-76 and led the team to the Final Four four times.

The New England Basketball Hall of Fame honors "athletes, coaches, teams, administrators, referees, organizations and contributors to the game of basketball at the high school, preparatory and collegiate levels in New England."