New book looks at Ohio girls basketball history

Jim Dabbelt, author. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

TIPP CITY – It was one of the final things that Jim Dabbelt was wanting to accomplish in his
long tenure in the world of girls’ basketball, and that dream is now a reality.

The former Pitsburg resident will release his first book in August. It examines the history of girls’ basketball in Ohio from 1990 to 2020. The Ohio 140 is currently being released to the players featured in the book, and the public sale will begin on August 10.

“I have been wanting to do this for a long time, and thanks to Covid, it motivated me to begin this grueling project,” Dabbelt said, who resides in Tipp City and is starting his 40th season promoting the sport of girls basketball. “When we were all shut down, I obviously had a lot of time on my hands, so I finally sat down and began the construction of this book, which looks at the sport’s history in Ohio during that 30-year span.”

“I knew I wanted to do one more big project in the sport that I have been involved in my entire life, and this definitely meets that goal,” he added.

The book depicts the elite players around the Buckeye State through Dabbelt’s eyes, starting with the top 140 players from Ohio during that span. The criteria are simple: a player had to graduate anytime between 1990 and 2020. It wasn’t easy for Dabbelt.

“It was a challenge without question,” Debbelt stated. “There were some very obvious ones, and there were plenty of debatable players because everyone has a different opinion.”

Dabbelt’s tenure in the game is the longest in Ohio history, but he did bounce some names off of other longtime people who have been involved in the game in some capacity.
In addition to the 140 key players honored, several players are listed by each decade who were also key players from that ten-year span, kind of like an “honorable mention” list of players.

While Dabbelt would not reveal too much about the book, he did mention that Darke County has one player listed among the Ohio 140 and multiple players from Tri-Village, Greenville, Ansonia, Franklin Monroe, and Versailles, who were listed on the honorable mention decade lists.

One of the best features in the book is the Quotes of the Stars, where each of the players
contacted submitted advice for today’s youth about playing at the next level.

“That is one of the parts I really like because I left all the names off of those comments, and they could be honest about the next level of basketball,” Dabbelt said.

The book goes on sale to the public starting August 10 at the Great American Memorabilia and Sports Card Show at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, where Dabbelt will launch it with a book signing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. He is also set to appear in Hamilton later in August and at the Miami County Fairgrounds at a Memorabilia Show on October 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Readers can also pre-order a copy now by contacting Dabbelt at