Friends of Basketball
Year Inducted: 1988
Category: Friends of Basketball
Schools / Organizations: (Manito) Forman High School
Biography: There may very well be more loyal basketball fans around, but you won’t find a more enthusiastic group to perk up a cold January night in Manito than Frances Brenner, Katherine Marshall, Betty Smith and Eva Mae Peplow. Following the Forman Braves is more than a part-time ritual. It’s become a lifelong passion. Even though they are in their mid-60s and none have immediate relatives playing, the only games they missed in Forman’s 25-game schedule last year were a snowy trip to Springfield Calvary and the Macomb Christmas Tournament. Because they have nearly 200 years of Forman basketball watching among them, Forman’s most loyal foursome was honored by the school cheerleaders last season with a certificate for “outstanding achievement in crowd enthusiasm.” Spotting the quartet is easy. They’re usually on the bleachers opposite the scorer’s table and team benches and in their seats for the 6:15 fresh-soph preliminary. And if you need more help spotting them look for two of them—Frances and Katherine—dressed in striped shirts. The gals have been known to get a word or two in edgewise with the officials, but also with the many visiting coaches, who like to talk to them. Still, while coaches and officials are part of the show, the players are the main attraction. “We don’t ever give the boys heck,” says Marshall. “We tell ‘em just to play hard.” Not to mention with class and dignity, no matter what the score—the trademark of Forman’s most loyal fans. Betty Smith died in 2005.