Year Inducted: 1985
Schools / Organizations: Dongola High School
Union University (TN)
Biography: If one had to single out the most overlooked Illinois high school basketball player by the IBCA Hall of Fame, it certainly could be Joe Aden. His statistics border on the unreal. Playing for tiny Dongola High School (his graduating class had 24 students) Aden scored 3,121 points in four seasons from 1954-58 (Note: no 3-point line yet). Aden was the cream of the crop in establishing season and career records for Illinois schoolboys. As a senior Aden averaged 36.9 points, including 56 in one game. Aden averaged 28.6 as just a sophomore and 34 as a junior. Aden was named to the all-star team as a senior. Southern Illinois basketball enthusiasts still talk of the classic confrontations between Aden and Tamms High School and its scoring machine Charles “Chico” Vaughn. It was Vaughn who topped nearly every state record that Aden had established. Aden, who has served as mayor of East Cape Girardeau, was an all-conference player four years, most valuable in the conference as a junior and senior and ranked third in the nation in scoring as a senior. Aden was also named all-Southern Illinois for his last three seasons by the Cairo Evening Citizen. Aden played four years of college basketball at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where he was captain and leading scorer for all 4 seasons. He was the most valuable player in the conference as a senior. Joe was inducted into the Union University Hall of Fame in 2015. He was chosen all-tournament as a junior and a senior, He was named to the all-NCAA regional team as a senior as well as playing in the conference all-star game. He twice had tryouts with the St. Louis Hawks.