Sunday, February 25, 2024

After a basketball full of memories shows up at a local police department, it remains a mystery – East Idaho News

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IDAHO FALLS — A basketball sitting on Gary Allan’s desk at the Idaho Falls Police Department is a mystery that’s waiting to be solved.

Allan has worked at the front desk for the department for over three years and has several duties.

“I do the fingerprinting. I help the public when they come in and direct them to the appropriate areas. I also work with lost and found and try to contact people — everything from wallets, IDs, credit cards, things of that nature,” Allan said.

But just about seven months ago, in August, someone found a basketball along Sunnyside Road in Idaho Falls, and it was turned in to Allan at the police department.

“It says, ‘Ron Dodson, Coach of the Year’ from ’90 to ’94. It says, ‘Thanks for the memories.’ It was signed by all the players,” Allan said.

The front of the basketball. | Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com

But Allan doesn’t know who Dodson is. He’s researched online. He’s called local school districts like Idaho Falls School District 91 and Bonneville Joint School District 93.

“They didn’t recognize the name. But again, it goes back to ’90 to ’94,” Allan said. “He could have been from out of state. It could have fallen out of a car or a truck. Somebody’s moving, who knows?”

The basketball looks new, but it could have been put on display.

“If it was an item that was given to him as a memory of his basketball coaching, you wouldn’t use it. It would just be around,” Allan said. “But based on the size, I’d say he probably coached youth basketball.”

Allan can’t seem to give the basketball up, even after all these months, in hopes that the owner will be found.

“Normally, we only hold onto things like this for three months. But I just kept it at my desk. I’d hate to get rid of it because I’d be throwing somebody’s memories away,” he said. “I’m just going to hold onto it for a while longer.”

If someone knows Ron Dodson and sees this story, even if the players are older now, they can call Allan at the front desk at (208) 612-8616.

“I felt that this memory that was given to him by his players, something like this, can be worth a lot, and they would like to probably have it back,” Allan said.

Idaho Falls Police Department
The back of the basketball. | Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com

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