Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame Museum Underway

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Published on October 12 2012 5:54 pm
Last Updated on October 12 2012 5:54 pm
Written by Millie Lange

The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association has had a vision to find a permanent building to display memorabilia and tell the history of all levels of basketball played in the state of Illinois.

That vision is becoming a reality. The IBCA has partnered with a group of volunteer organizers in Danville who made a commitment to bring the vision to life. Work has been underway to make the dream a reality. The Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame Museum, will be housed in Danville's David S. Palmer Arena with exhibits and interactive displays on men's and women's basketball across the state from high school to college and professional.

This will be an opportunity for people to re-live memories and experience the thrills that came before them. The museum will combine exhibits, interactive presentations, photographs, video memorabilia and the oral history of basketball in Illinois.

A feature attraction will honor the players, coaches, officials, teams, media and IBCA Hall of Fame designees who have impacted the game.

Since the spring, Museum Chairman Bruce Firchau along with Scott Slocum and Steve Brandy, Neal Ormond, Rich Engle, Teri Campbell, Terry Wright and Tim Schweitzer have been on the road recording oral histories that will rpeserve Illinois basketball from the 1930's and beyond. Board Chairman Ron Crick says this is expected to be the first of ongoing efforts to gather pieces of the history of basketball from school days to the professional level in the state.

"We want this musum to be for everyone who has ever walked into a gym, dribbled the ball on the court or sat in the stands cheering and smelling the popcorn," said Crick. "The best way we can do that is to ensure every who visits can share memories."

The Advisory Board welcomed a new member, Peoria native and Harlem Globetrotters basketball legend Curley "Boo" Johnson. Other members are Naismith Hall of Famer Jerry Colangelo, former Illini Deon Thomas, Illinois State's winning coach Jill Hutchinson, Peoria native and Indiana Associate Athletic Director Chris Reynolds, former University of Illinois and no Kansas State coach Bruce Weber, Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame coach Carol Plodzien and retired IHSA administrator Jim Flynn.

Visit the website: ilhoopshall.com or phone 217-442-DUNK (3865).