Year Inducted: 1996
Schools / Organizations: West Aurora High School
Northern Illinois University
The University of Illinois
NBA: Suns, Nuggets, Jazz, Celtics and Warriors
Biography: Kenny Battle’s play at West Aurora High School, Northern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois was marked by his intensity and enthusiasm. Kenny was a 2-time all-state selection and a 1984 All-American for the Blackhawks. He led them to a 31-2 record and a 3rd place finish in the IHSA Class AA tournament when his free throw at :04 seconds beat (Westchester) St. Joseph 55-54. During his senior season, Kenny averaged 19.5 ppg and 11 rpg. He earned nick names from the national media while being considered the top NCAA Div I freshman. Dick Vitale called him a “dunking machine’ and Brent Musburger dubbed him “King of the 360’s”. Kenny set a Northern Illinois and Mid-American Conference record of 544 points that year (20.1 ppg). As a sophomore for the Huskies, he became the youngest player in the MAC to reach 1,000 career points. During that season, he led the squad to victories over Northwestern, Marquette and Miami of Ohio. A 2-time Huskie MVP, Kenny was named to the NIU All-Decade, All-Time Evans Field House, and All-Century teams. After his sophomore year, Kenny transferred to the University of Illinois for his final 2 seasons. As a junior, he averaged 15.6 ppg and 5.5 rpg while being named co-MVP as the Illini went 23-10 before losing in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament to Villanova. During his senior season (1988-89), he played on a 31-5 team that went to the NCAA Final Four. This team was inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame in 2016. Kenny received the inspiration award, the best shooting award, the spirit award and was an all-Mideast Regional selection. The Big 10 conference awarded him with 2nd team honors his senior year after being on the 3rd team as a junior. Kenny was drafted by the Detroit Pistons and ultimately played for the Suns, Nuggets, Jazz, Celtics and Warriors during a 5-year NBA career.