Inductees A true pioneer for high school basketball in Illinois was the outstanding 1907-08 Peoria High School team which won the first state tournament ever held in Illinois.
The first state high school basketball tournament was an eight-team invitational affair at the Oak Park YMCA. Peoria High, coached by Les Straesser, a 1906 graduate of the school who also at the time was farming west of Peoria, had compiled a 14-1 regular season record.
Included in the 14 wins was a 105-23 thumping of Streator at the old Peoria YMCA on Jefferson Street. Peoria led 65-5 at halftime and Wilbur "Bill" Forrest scored 32 field goals. The team's only loss was 43-23 at the hands of Spalding. At the first state tournament, Peoria turned back Wheaton, 41-26, then disposed of Hinsdale, 32-25, and won the state title by pounding Rock Island, 48-29.
A true pioneer for high school basketball in Illinois was the outstanding 1907-08 Peoria High School team which won the first state tournament ever held in Illinois.
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The first official Board of Directors meeting was held on October 14, 1979. Officers were elected. Early decisions determined that the Hall of Famers would be from the Greater Peoria Area; the name would be The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame; its purpose would be to promote and encourage the many varied sports programs in our area, to share with the area the pride we have in the accomplishments of area athletes, and to honor those men, women and teams contributing to our enjoyment and rich sports history.
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