Year Inducted: 2002
Schools / Organizations:
Carbondale High School
The University of Illinois
Stephen Bardo was a part of the best teams in the history of Carbondale High School and the University of Illinois. He helped Carbondale to the Class AA Elite Eight as a junior and was South Seven Conference Player of the Year. Bardo had 26 points and 14 rebounds in a supersectional win over (East St. Louis) Lincoln before losing to future Illinois teammate Kendall Gill and (Olympia Fields) Rich Central in the quarterfinals. As a senior, he averaged 19 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals en route to first-team all-state honors.
Bardo lettered four years at Illinois (1987-90) and started 90 of 129 career games. The Illini averaged 24 wins a season and made four NCAA tournaments. The 1989 team, dubbed the Flyin’ Illini, reached the Final Four. At the time of his induction, Bardo was 46th on the career scoring list (908 points), third in career 3-point field goal shooting percentage (.455), third in assists (495), eighth in steals (1325) and had 552 career rebounds. Bardo was the 1989 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the 1990 team co-captain.
Bardo played in the NBA with San Antonio and his 10-year pro career also took him overseas and to the Continental Basketball Association. He became a prominent TV analyst with ESPN and the Big Ten Network.