Friends of Basketball
Year Inducted: 1988
Category: Friends of Basketball
Schools / Organizations: Collinsville High School
Edwardsville High School
Metro Area Schools
Biography: Paul “Moody” Spudich of Livingston had one goal in life—attend state high school basketball tournaments in Champaign for 50 straight years. It’s a good bet Spudich will attain that goal, since he hasn’t missed since 1947 when Pinckneyville defeated East Rockford for the crown. In 1973, Coaches Louis Dehner of East St. Louis, Joe Lucco of Edwardsville and Vergil Fletcher of Collinsville were IBCA Hall of Famer charter inductees. It wouldn’t even be a contest for them to name basketball’s No. 1 fan in the state of Illinois. All would point to Spudich. For years, he’s been a season ticket holder at Collinsville and Edwardsville, but wherever there was an important basketball game or tournament you could count on Spudich being in the crowd. His sincere devotion to basketball’s fandom not only included high school but also college games. Spudich is no stranger to the NCAA, having seen three championship games. Spudich’s allegiance is not only East St. Louis, Edwardsville or Collinsville, he was also an avid follower of Livingston, Mount Olive, Staunton, Carlinville, Litchfield and Hillsboro. His travels could quite likely land him in Peoria, Benton, or Lincoln if he thought there was a game there he wanted to see. Spudich can also be found at grade school games. Fletcher says of Spudich, “He is a basketball nut and a real friend of basketball.” Few friends of basketball have kept the coaching company Spudich has befriended. He certainly is most deserving of any IBCA honor.