The clock has run out on the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association holding its Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet in 2020.
The already-postponed annual event was officially canceled over the weekend. It had been rescheduled to be held Sept. 5 on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal.
“It does not appear that date will work for us under the state of Illinois restrictions, which limit indoor gatherings to 50 people,” said Mark Kleeman, the Banquet Chairperson for the IBCA. “At this time, we do not feel that we can offer a quality event under the state of Illinois restrictions.
“Out of concern for the health of our members, previous Hall of Famers, 2020 Hall of Fame inductees and 2020 Coaches of the Year, the IBCA believes that this is the best decision. We are saddened by the need to cancel the event, but from the beginning of this process we promised to follow the scientists and keep the safety and welfare of our basketball family foremost in our decision-making process.
“Although we have heavy hearts with this decision, we know that it is the best one.”
A trio of area hoops luminaries were set to be inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame at this year’s banquet – Hall girls basketball alumna Kailey Klein, former Marquette girls basketball (and current Marquette boys basketball) coach Todd Hopkins and Ransom Grade School boys basketball coach Harold McKenzie.
Also slated for induction in the Class of 2020 was the 2007-08 Flanagan/Woodland/Cornell Class 1A girls basketball state championship team, the first basketball champ crowned under the IHSA’s current four-class system. The team included Courtney Starkey, Katie Spaniol, Emily Gundy, Addie Girard, Taylor Wheat, Lanie Viti, Anna Delheimer, Renee Schneider, Jamie Russow, sister co-captains Caitlyn and Anna Jones, assistant coach Kelli Stanley and head coach Ron Spencer.
The list of IBCA Coaches of the Year who were set to be honored included a multitude of local coaches.
Junior high coaches to be honored included La Salle Trinity girls coach Mike Urbanski, Marquette girls coach John Nelson and Oglesby Holy Family boys coach John Senica. High school coaches set for Coach of the Year honors included: in boys basketball – Indian Creek’s Joe Piekarz, Fieldcrest’s Matt Winkler and Roanoke-Benson’s Abe Zeller; and in girls basketball – Fieldcrest’s Mitch Neally, Seneca’s Ted O’Boyle and Newark’s Barb Scott.
The IBCA intends to induct both the 2020 and 2021 Hall of Fame classes at its 2021 banquet. Coaches of the Year for 2020 will be honored separately throughout the coming year.
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