Year Inducted: 2001
Schools / Organizations: Ohio High School
Biography: A Chicago Tribune article in January 1944 claimed Billy Anderson upstaged George Sisler’s purchase of a creamery truck 10 years earlier as the most momentous happening in the tiny Bureau County town of Ohio. The center jump was in its waning days when Anderson began a four-year varsity career (1940-44) and helped remodel the game with a one-hand “shove shot” being delivered as he was turning away from the basket, which was the birth of the jump shot. Anderson led Ohio High School to its first district championship as a junior and a repeat when he scored 775 points for a 25 points a game average as a senior. He led his Bulldogs to the Bureau, Lee and Putnam Counties Conference title and he was believed to be the state’s leading scorer in 1943-44. He set a single-game mark of 42 points as a junior and upped it to 44 as a senior. Newspaper attention to prep sports wasn’t nearly the same as the early 2000s and Anderson, who also owned a 33- to 34-inch vertical jump, learned of his all-state honors from the Princeton HS coach. Anderson ate, slept and drank basketball. His mother Lucille saw to it that, “I shot 400 to 500 baskets every day. My mother was probably my best fan and coach off the floor. She’d see to it that I shot baskets every day.” Anderson’s teams, in the one-class system, never survived the regionals, but he followed proudly when his grandson, Lance Harris, whom he led to basketball, took the Bulldogs to the IHSA Class A state tournament in 1985 and a second place finish in the 1986 state tourney. Anderson followed Harris into the IBCA Hall of Fame (Lance was inducted in 1999).. “Of course I’m happy with the honor,” Anderson said. I guess I’m more happy I’m being inducted in the same hall of fame as my grandson.” Bill Anderson died on October 13, 2013 at the age of 87.