Befitting the son of a Hall of Fame coach, Richard “Dick” Whitmore’s game wasn’t about filling out a box score. It was about doing whatever it took to help his team win.
Smart, quick and strong with a deadly perimeter jump shot, Whitmore adapted his play each year to the talent around him, helping Waterville establish itself as one of the premier programs in state in the mid-1980s, making the All-KVAC team each of his four years in the lineup, and then earning a starting role at Division I Brown University by his sophomore year of college.
The namesake of legendary Colby coach Dick Whitmore and grandson of the well-regarded Cheverus coach of the same name, Whitmore showed his flexibility early, playing off the ball as a freshman starter at Waterville and helping the Panthers double their win total from the previous season.
He slid over to his natural point guard position the next winter but without an abundance of firepower on a young roster also needed to be a scorer. The result? A big sophomore season that saw him named to the all-state third team.
A football injury requiring surgery in his junior year sidelined Whitmore until the middle of January and with the team winning behind a new point guard, he gladly shifted back off the ball once again, joining younger brother Kevin in helping Waterville claim the state title with a convincing win over South Portland.
Whitmore was back running the show for the Panthers in his senior year as they put together a lengthy winning streak before falling in the Eastern Maine finals. He graduated as a first-team all-state selection, a Converse National High School All-American and a McDonald’s High School All-America Nominee.
An outstanding student-athlete who drew recruiting interest from a variety of DI schools in the East, Whitmore seriously considered several offers before deciding to attend Brown. As a sophomore starter he knocked down six 3-pointers in a game against Princeton, finished the year shooting 43 percent from behind the arc, and led the team in assists. He was, Brown’s longtime sports information director would say, “on track to become one of the top guards in school history” until a second serious knee injury in his junior year abruptly ended his college career.
Whitmore found a way to make Ivy League history anyway, on a whim becoming the first conference player ever to apply for the NBA Hardship Draft.
A few short years after earning his degree he would begin sharing his accumulated wealth of basketball knowledge as young head coach at Daniel Webster College and then Kenyon College. Eager to make an impact on young lives as his father and grandfather had before him, Dick Whitmore eventually stepped away from coaching and into athletic administration, first at Wesleyan University and then at Dartmouth College, where today he is the Executive Associate Athletics Director.