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Former AC basketball player among 5 being inducted into Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame

Bobby Dibler moves in for a layup as a member of the 1962 Amarillo College Badgers basketball team. (Courtesy: Amarillo College)

A former basketball player at Amarillo College is set to be inducted into the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame next month.

Bobby Dibler will be one of five inductees during the 2019 PSHOF ceremony on Feb. 10 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Amarillo Civic Center's Grand Plaza. The event is free and open to the public.

Dibler (pronounced DY-blur) will become the 181st PSHOF inductee, an honor he will accept not so much for playing basketball but for having refereed it.

The Amarillo High product was a standout guard at AC, averaging 21 points a game throughout 1962 and 1963 while playing for AC's legendary head coach Bob Carter, himself the 53rd member to be inducted into the PSHOF.

However, Dibler's true legacy bloomed after his playing career wound down, he picked up a whistle and went on to officiate more than 1,000 NCAA Division I basketball games, including three Final Fours and a pair of national championship games.

Those in attendance for Dibler's PSHOF induction are certain to learn a great deal about his 25-year officiating career, which included 14 years working college basketball's preeminent tournament, March Madness, and two championship games.

Dibler was on the court for the final in 1982 when Michael Jordan's basket in the waning seconds gave North Carolina a single-point victory over Georgetown.

He also worked the final in 1985, when an underdog Villanova team narrowly topped heavily favored Georgetown in an upset for the ages.

Dibler was a 5'11" guard at AHS, where he made the all-district team as a senior. As a sophomore at AC, he helped lead the Badgers to the national junior college tournament in Kansas, where he was named to the all-tournament team.

He parlayed that success into a scholarship at Texas Western College, where he played two years under head coach Don Haskins, who the year after Dibler's graduation led the Miners to an unforgettable NCAA national title.

Dibler retired after 32 years working in sales for Proctor & Gamble. He finally hung up his referee's whistle, too, in 1993 but then took a job coordinating the officiating for several large NCAA Division I conferences.

Today, Dibler serves as head of the Western Officiating Consortium and coordinates officials for the WAC, Big Sky, Big West, Mountain West, Pac-12 and West Coast Conferences.

As part of the consortium's annual training clinic in 2017, Dibler was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Bobby Dibler Award, which recognizes perseverance and dedication to men's basketball officiating.

The next chapter in Dibler's success story will be written on Feb. 10, when the former AC Badger is inducted into the PSHOF.

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