Friends of Basketball


Jac Ashton

Year Inducted: 1990

Category: Friends of Basketball

Schools / Organizations:
Argenta High School (now Argenta-Oreana High School)

Biography: Jac Ashton was a devoted basketball fan in Illinois. On an average, Ashton attended 120 games a season. Ashton’s viewing pleasure included high school, junior college and college basketball games. One year Ashton kept a tally of the number of games he attended – 150. He’s on the road in search of a game almost nightly, once the season begins. He claimed that  he would see more but “I still work.” He didn’t confine his viewing pleasure to the state of  Illinois, as he wandered into Indiana on occasion to watch games. Former Eastern Illinois University basketball coach, Rick Samuels, said of Ashton, “It is individuals like Jac, who make basketball in downstate Illinois special. Jac’s undying love for the game is obvious by the thousands of miles he travels each season. A frequent visitor to our gymnasium, not only to games, but to see us practice or just visit about basketball. He’s even accompanied me on trips to scout opponents. He is perhaps the most notable basketball fan in Central Illinois.” Millikin University coach Joe Ramsey said of the Argenta resident, “Jac is the most avid fan of basketball in our area. It is amazing how many each year our staff travels to observe a basketball prospect and finds Jac in attendance. He is very knowledgeable about a player’s ability to play on the collegiate level and often makes us aware of players he has seen who might be able to play at Millikin.” But through it all, Ashton says, “I have made many friends through basketball. I know I have gotten more out of basketball than I put in.”  Jac Ashton died on November 10, 2002 at the age of 82.