Friends of Basketball
Denzal and Virginia Burgess
Year Inducted: 1977
Category: Friends of Basketball
Schools / Organizations: Bloomington High School
Illinois State University
Biography: In the Bloomington-Normal area, Denzal and Virginia Burgess are basketball royalty. For several decades, the couple were regular attendees at Illinois State University and Bloomington High School games. Denzal rarely missed a game beginning in 1927 with Virginia joining him in the stands before their marriagne in 1939. They regularly saw 100+ games per season. They attended as many as 13 tournaments each year. They never seemed to tire of the game. Denzal himself was a basketball player at old Ellsworth High School and with the semi-pro Ellsworth Clippers team. That team won a state title in 1931-32 and placed second in 1941-42 after which Denzal ended his 22-year career with 715 games played. Virginia Burgess passed away on July 12, 2013; followed by her husband on November 24, 2016.