IBCA Hall of Fame

HOF Friends

Nelson SmithName: Nelson R. Smith

Year Inducted: 1979

Category: Friends of Basketball

Schools / Organizations:
Maroa High School
(Normal) University High School
Illinois State University

 

Biography:  Nelson R. Smith donated countless hours to basketball as a movie and still photographer. Beginning as a team manager and filming Maroa High School games, he moved to Illinois State University where, as a freshman, he organized the ISU Photo Service and became its director. Nelson followed the Redbird teams from coast-to-coast. He also filmed Normal University High games. Both ISU and U-High athletic departments have presented him with awards of appreciation. Even on those rare nights during the season when he was not working, Nelson could usually be found at a basketball game in the Bloomington-Normal area. Illinois State University named its Media building the Nelson Smith Building.

 

Charles ORourkeName: Charles O'Rourke

Year Inducted: 1979

Category: Friends of Basketball

Schools / Organizations:
(Homewood) Homewood-Flossmoor High School
(Harvey) Thornton High School

 

Biography:   Charles O’Rourke’s wife, Katherine, recalls calling him to come home from the 1959 state tournament for the birth of their youngest son, Terry. Charles was home but in front of the television as Springfield High School drove to the championship. A close game at the end, she remembers Charles stalling to see the end as the Senators defeated the Aurora East Tomcats by a score of 60-52. Had the game gone into overtime, Terry may have been born right in front of the TV.  Charles’ love affair with high school basketball began in 1936 when his older brothers took him to Champaign to see Johnston City defeat their Proviso HS, 24-18. By 1955, he was watching 100+ games per year. He followed Thornton Harvey for many years before moving to Homewood in 1964 where he closely followed HFHS. Although not a coach, Charles would often find time to attend basketball clinics. After each game, he went home to a thinking chair to replay the game mentally.

 

Eugene ManesName: Eugene Manes

Year Inducted: 1979

Category: Friends of Basketball

Schools / Organizations:
Mt. Pulaski High School

 

Biography:  Through 1979, only one person in Mount Pulaski High School history had ever been presented a gold-plated pass to all Hilltopper athletic events—Eugene “Bones” Manes. An outstanding athlete at Mt. Pulaski, Eugene served as official scorer for many years after graduation. He devoted much time and effort to the athletic teams for 47 years. Although recovering from a stroke, Eugene was honored to be inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame in 1979.

 

Swen NelsonName: Swen Nelson

Year Inducted: 1979

Category: Friends of Basketball

Schools / Organizations:
Lockport High School

Biography:  Swen Nelson is a native of Sweden where he competed in soccer as a youngster. The retired Lockport building contractor says that he didn’t attend high school, because in those days high school was only for the rich. Since coming to Lockport, Swen has been a season ticket holder for 38 seasons prior to his induction in 1979. In that span he witnessed more than 98 percent of the Porters’ games.

 

Joseph MalnarName: Joseph Malnar

Year Inducted: 1979

Category: Friends of Basketball

Schools / Organizations:
Wenona High School
Wenona Grade School 

 

Biography:   Joseph Malnar served as timer for Wenona High School and Grade School basketball games for more than 28 years. While the high school custodian for 25 years, Joseph advised and counseled many athletes and students. As a result of his friendship and aid, the most improved player award at Wenona HS bears Malnar’s name.