PINCKNEYVILLE — The Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame and Museum has announced its 2012 inductees.

Twenty-five male and female athletes were announced in a news release Wednesday. The inductees were chosen by the Hall of Fame selection committee, co-chaired by decorated Illinois sportswriters Taylor Bell and Loren Tate. Induction categories are separated by pre-1960s players, post-1960s players and women.

“We’re excited to add another star-studded class to our Hall of Fame,” Hall of Fame Executive Director Dick Corn said in the news release. “Considering the history of talent in Illinois, the selection committee’s job is never easy.”

The Museum’s inaugural class, 60 male and female athletes from throughout Illinois, was inducted into the hall in a ceremony Nov. 5, 2011, at the Colonnades Club inside Memorial Stadium on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign.

This year’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 3 at the I Hotel in Champaign.

One notable Southern Illinois athlete in this year’s class is Greg Starrick of Marion.

A 1967 Sports Illustrated article detailed Starrick’s season that year. As an all-state guard on Marion High School’s basketball team, Starrick had a 32.7-point game average, scored 70 points in an 88-86 double-overtime loss to West Frankfort and during regulation time, he broke the conference record with 60 points.

The idea for the Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame Museum came out of a strategic planning initiative spearheaded by the Foundation for Pinckneyville in 2006.

In May, the Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame and Museum signed an agreement to build on the site of the Kunz Opera House and Pinckneyville Antique Museum, both destroyed by fire in June 2011. The Foundation for Pinckneyville teamed with the Engelhardt Family Foundation to purchase the property.

The Engelhardt Family Foundation donated the funds for the project with the hope a museum is built and begins operation within four years; otherwise, the foundation is to use the property in another way to benefit the community.

The foundation previously entered into a similar property purchase and lease arrangement with the Illinois Rural Heritage Museum.

The museum building has been estimated to cost about $1.5 million. Corn has said they have about one-third of the needed funds.

In 2010, Pinckneyville received a $750,000 matching-funds grant through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, to be split between the Illinois Rural Heritage Museum and Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

Last year, Manny Jackson, a former All-State basketball player at Edwardsville High School, owner of the Harlem Globetrotters and member of the Hall of Fame’s executive board, donated $50,000 to the museum.

Plans for the physical site not only include Illinois basketball memorabilia, but multimedia displays.


On Twitter: @BrentStewartSI

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