"Our mission is to honor Illinois basketball history, celebrate current achievements, and motivate future generations."
The Basketball Museum of Illinois is a comprehensive facility dedicated to recognizing the rich tradition and history of basketball in our state from the junior high level level to the development of the professional game. Visitors will discover the stories of the great teams, coaches, players, officials, media, and friends of basketball in our state. Galleries will encourage visitor participation, allowing them to experience the greatest basketball moments in Illinois history. Our goal is to educate and entertain.
The Basketball Museum of Illinois will open in Pontiac, IL in the near future.
1.) The Basketball Museum of Illinois will be all encompassing from the junior high level to the professional level.
2.) Gender equality will be our goal from the time Title IX came into effect.
3.) We want our visitors to "smell the popcorn and hear the basketball shoes squeak." We want our visitors to be overwhelmed with nostalgia.
4.) We want our museum to be an interactive museum.
5.) To connect the past to the present.
6.) To have the media tell the stories through auditory and visual presentations.
7.) To implement the latest technology in displaying our memorabilia and telling our history.
8.) To display a wide collection of oral histories combined with pictures and film from different periods of time.
9.) To have both permanent and rotating historical exhibits displaying our rich basketball history.
10.) We want the people in Illinois not only to visit our museum but to be active participants through their donations of memorabilia and basketball stories.
11.) To include our basketball historians, sports information directors, and media as active supporters and contributors to the Basketball Museum of Illinois.
12.) We will enshrine members of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. To preserve and tell the stories of their contributions to Illinois basketball.
13.) We will encourage students at our state universities and colleges to participate in archiving, researching, writing, and becoming active museum curators with our assistance and monitoring.
14.) To make you want to come back and visit us again.
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OUTREACH PROGRAM GOALS
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MEET THE MUSEUM BOARD
Bruce Firchau (Elburn) – Bruce is the museum board chairman. He entered the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007 as a coach. Bruce is also the Hall of Fame Selection Committee Chairman. He has traveled the state promoting the museum and recording oral basketball histories.
Jim Tracy (Oak Lawn) – Jim entered the IBCA Hall of Fame as a coach in 2007. He is a great clinician and his teams at DeLaSalle and Reavis were noted for great defense, teamplay and discipline. Jim’s leadership over the decades has been invaluable to the IBCA. He is the Chairman of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.
John Spezia (Danville) – John is a life time basketball coach. He has coached at the junior high, high school, junior college and international levels. He loves teaching basketball and spends time each year outside of the United States conducting basketball clinics. John coached Danville Community College to a national championship and entered our Hall of Fame in 2004.
Pat Sullivan (Joliet) – Pat is one of the most respected and successful coaches to have coached in Illinois. He has spoken at numerous coaching clinics throughout the United States. Pat has authored books on “Leadership” and also teaches classes on this subject. His experience in fundraising at the University of St. Francis is a great asset to the museum. Pat was inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame in 1995.
Mark Kleemann (Peoria) – Mark just retired as a successful teacher, coach and administrator. He presently chairs the Hall of Fame Banquet Committee and is responsible for making our banquet one of the largest and most successful in Illinois.
Jim Sheppard (Urbana) – You probably would recognize Jim’s voice. He was the great announcer for the University of Illinois basketball and football games. Jim’s research on Illinois Basketball History is invaluable to our museum project. In 2007 Jim was inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame (Media).
Rodney Kellar (Colfax) – Rodney is a very successful basketball coach at Ridgeview High School and entered the IBCA Hall of Fame in 2014. He will soon be earning his 600th career victory. Rodney is also an IBCA Vice President.
Brian Schaumburg (Towanda) – Brian is an IBCA Hall of Fame Official and lives just outside Bloomington-Normal. He is the head of the Bloomington-Normal Officials Association and well respected throughout Illinois. Brian’s success in the business world is a great help to our museum efforts.
Matt Monroe (Joliet) – Matt is the person behind the scenes that runs our museum website, basketballmuseumofillinois.com. He presently teaches at St.Ignatius College Prep in Chicago and is their Boys Varsity Basketball Coach.