As Bangor says goodbye to the historic and fabled Bangor Auditorium, making way for the new nearby Cross Insurance Center, basketball players past and present are being called to take the court at “The Mecca” a final time during "The Final Buzzer Shoot Around" — an event to benefit the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame — on Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17.

“While this is a fundraiser for the hall of fame, what was more important to us was giving the thousands who played there a way to celebrate the past and welcome the future,” said Bill Burney, a Cony High School basketball star from 1967-1969 and founding member of the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame. “Memories were made on that wood floor and the emotions tied to the auditorium run deep for a lot of us. Especially for kids who came from small schools, the feeling of playing in that place, it’s unforgettable.”

Organizers of "The Final Buzzer Shoot Around" include a number of former players who knew the appeal of being able to take the court again and they’ve designed the two-day event with that in mind. The shootaround portion for past players is organized by eras on Saturday with women’s and men’s alumni games ending the night. On Sunday, the floor will be open to the public. Fans are encouraged to attend one or both days.

“A ‘shootaround’ is basically a chance to shoot baskets,” Burney said. “It’s pretty simple, but it’s also the best way we could think of to let as many people as possible have a chance to be a part of it.”

Shootaround times begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 16 for those who played between 1956 and 1974. The women’s alumni game is set for 5:30 p.m. with the men to follow at 7:30 p.m. The court opens to the public on Sunday, March 17 from noon to 4 p.m.

For more information or to register, go online to mainebasketballhalloffame.com.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@courierpublicationsllc.com.