Friends of Basketball


Harley Benson

Year Inducted: 1990

Category: Friends of Basketall

Schools / Organizations:
Shabonna High School

Biography: Harley Benson began operating the scoreboard for high school basketball and providing other services at Shabbona High School in 1943. Coaches in that period were fortunate to have him. It always makes things a lot easier for a coach to have a person who is not only competent, but one who can be counted upon to be there every night. In Benson’s case. Shabbona coaches needed only to call Harley prior to the start of the season.  He was never compensated for operating the scoreboard, but did it for the love of the game and school. Until 1982, Harley also drove the team bus, then health problems would no longer permit it. During a 1956 hospitalization in Chicago, Harley frequently lamented missing the basketball season. Harley watched many excellent games and rode the roller-coaster of victory and defeat along with coaches and players. Many were victories, but none matched Shabbona’s heart-breaking loss to Hinsdale in the IHSA Sectional tournament to end the 1958-59 season. Harley’s three daughters competed before the inception of girls’ interscholastic competition, but Harley added their schedule to this calendar and ran the clock and scoreboard for the Shabbona girls’ games. Harley enjoyed his long association with the students, officials and coaches, but not any more than they enjoyed their association with Harley Benson.