Basketball Hall of Fame
Basketball Hall of Fame
Photo © Russ Bolt
Follow the arrow to find the photo by James R. Dean.
Click on image to see larger version.
“James R. Dean is accepted into
The Basketball Hall of Fame!”

Here’s the story.

On March 18, 1976 I was in Bismarck, ND taking pictures for the Dakota Photo Documentary Project (DPDP). That day I took some photos of kids playing basketball on an elementary school playground court. One of those photographs ended up on the cover of a book I published in 1997 titled RIMSHOTS! A friend suggested I send a complimentary copy off to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. On October 7, 1997 I did just that.

On October 9, 1999 there was a message on my answering machine to call the BBHF regarding something. I returned their call and found out that they were interested in using some of the RIMSHOTS! photographs in their new Hoop Hall. In December 1999 I sent them prints of the eight photos they asked about.

For the next year we went back and forth with agreements for use, none of which got signed. I was keeping track of the building progress on their website. In January 2002 I asked if they had settled on any of the photogrphs. I was told, “... it’s a slow process.”

On August 26, 2002 I was contacted by the exhibits designer. They needed a print of the Bismarck photo ASAP! They were running into deadlines and my photo was part of one of the interactive exhibits. I fired a print off to them for scanning. They made the deadline after which we negotiated a modest price for it’s one time use.

On September 28, 2002 the new Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened with great fanfare and my photograph was there among many for all to see, I assumed. The visual coverage was a bit lean. I inquired about getting some installation photos but everybody said everybody else should help me.

Finally I called my old high school friend and fellow photographer Russ Bolt. He and his wife Vivian live just outside of Philadelphia. I asked Russ if he would “swing by” the Hall (224 miles one-way) and get a shot or two for me. He said he’d be glad to. He and Vivian stopped there on May 7, 2003. Russ took his photos and Vivian took her photos of Russ taking his photos. Russ sent me his film which I developed and proofed. They turned out! I saw that my photograph was part of a larger exhibit and mentioned to Russ that I’d probably have to use circles and arrows to point it out. Vivian sent me one of her photos with a note saying, “If you can use circles and arrows, so can I.” It’s a corker.

Thank you, Russ and Vivian, for being such good sports and letting me use your photographs to prove that I have indeed been accepted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

And that’s the truth as of December 23, 2003.

See James R. Dean's book, Rimshots!
Basketball hoop photo from the The Dakota Photo Documentary Project
Photos © Russ Bolt
(click on images to see larger versions)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Basketball Hall of Fame
Basketball Hall of Fame
See more of Russ Bolt's work at Bolt Imaging.
Photo © Vivian Bolt
(click on image to see larger versions)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Read all about it:
New Basketball Hall of Fame 
Opens in Springfield, Massachusetts:
Take the picture tour on the "New Hall" page and if you look real hard you can see my photo among the mess in the background of the center court photos on slides #8 and #17. Look fast.

Email James R. Dean at

All photographs © James R. Dean.
No reproductions of any kind may be made without the photographer's written permission.

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