LISBON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – Spruce Mountains girls basketball coach got plenty of attention regarding his 500th win on Saturday, but he was the first to admit he only played a part in achieving that historic milestone.
In 29 seasons spent between Rangeley, Dirigo, and his current position with the Phoenix, he first jokingly said it was inevitable he’d get to such a landmark victory based on his age.
“It means I’ve been around too long or I’m a little too old,” he said.
But then he gave the credit to his players, assistants, and the communities that made it possible for him to sustain that success.
It is with great pride today that we recognize Coach Kane for his 500th win.”>
“Gavin is always one that puts others before himself, always a team first kind of guy,” said his long-time assistant and friend Greg Gagne.
His struggles on the floor might be limited from a win-loss perspective (500 wins to just 98 losses), just getting on the court in recent years has been the biggest challenge. Back in May of 2010, Kane was diagnosed with bladder cancer.
“There’s been a lot of ups and down in the mental part of it, dealing with cancer probably is just as big as the physical part,” Kane said.
His prolonged battle against the disease has served as an inspiration to his players as they learn lessons beyond what they can see on the scoreboard.
“We feed off of his energy and like “about him pushing through all of his struggles, it just makes us want to achieve even more,” said senior guard Victoria Ouellette.
Usually legends are recognized for winning, but they tend to distinguish themeslves by their refusal to lose, especially for what they truly treasure. Something his family, in particular his wife, sees everyday.
“Mostly it’s for the love of the kids. He just loves the kids. And obviously he loves the game of basketball too,” she said.