Friends of Basketball
Year Inducted: 1995
Category: Friends of Basketball
Schools / Organizations:
Normal University High School
Bloomington High School
State Farm Classic
Larry Connolly is no stranger, or at least his voice isn’t, to the many sports fans in the Bloomington-Normal area. They began listening to him in 1964, and a few may have heard Connolly as far back as 1952 when he served two seasons as public address announcer and scorekeeper for Farmer City basketball.
Champaign Central coach Lee Cabutti asked Connolly to coach the sixth grade basketball team for five years.
Connolly moved to University High in Normal in 1964 and for the next five seasons served basketball coach Bob Metcalf as public address announcer and scorekeeper.
In 1969, Connolly went to work at Bloomington High School. He immediately became the voice of Purple Raider basketball. As public address announcer, Connolly served five coaches, Ralph Sackett, Bob Bender Sr, Tom Hodgson, Bob Spahn, and Rich Gordon.
Although he retired from the Bloomington faculty in 1988, Connolly continued to serve as public address announcer. Connolly was announcer for the all Inter-city Basketball Tournament at Horton Fieldhouse from 1972-1988. When the tournament began to alternate between Bloomington and Normal, Connolly had the job every other year.
Connolly served as announcer and supervisor of announcers for the Illinois State Classic Tournament from 1975-1985.
In addition to basketball duties, Connolly served as football announcer and as announcer for the Pantagraph Honor Roll Track Meet. Lawrence Connolly died on September 2, 2011 at the age of 85.