NeveHarms Upon making the decision to take up permanent residence in Peoria, Dr. Higgins researched the history of Peoria sports. As Lt. Gov. of IL district of Kiwanis, Dr. Higgins, a chiropractic physician, was harboring an idea about a Peoria Sports Hall of Fame.
After approaching fellow Kiwanian Orville Nothdurf about the idea, Orville suggested they confer with the new athletic director at Bradley University, Ron Ferguson. Subsequently the board was formed and Dr. Higgins was voted the HOF's first president. The first board meeting was held Oct. 1979, with the first induction being held Dec. 1981.
Dr. Higgins has been active in the civic and sports area. Serving on the Board of Directors of S.O.S., save our stadium, Peoria City zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Commission City of Chillicothe, Pres. Suburban Kiwanis, Lt. Gov. II District Kiwanis. Assisted in forming and developing Richwoods and Bergan (Peoria Notre Dame) high school Key Clubs. Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau's Vice Pres. Sports Commission. Attended to sport injuries at Richwood High School from 1967-1989, then joined Pekin High School football in 1990 as team doctor. He had the privilege of assisting with IHSA High School All Star Football games as on field doctor in Peoria for sixteen years. He was an attending doctor at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He was recruited by Bass Master to treat their participants while traveling with them to their venues and attended Bass Master Classics from 1995-1997. Prior to that he was a NASCAR, IRL, TT Motorcycle, Pro Bowling , event doctor treating participates at their venues
Upon making the decision to take up permanent residence in Peoria, Dr. Higgins researched the history of Peoria sports. As Lt. Gov. of IL district of Kiwanis, Dr. Higgins, a chiropractic physician, was harboring an idea about a Peoria Sports Hall of Fame.
1947 Pekin Basketballl Team
Row 1: left to right, Mgr. Jim Lee, Bert Van Horn, Dave Hughes, Jack Miller, Chuck Busby, Herb Gerecke, John Rose.
The 1947 and 1948 Pekin Basketball Teams had many similarities at the time. Both teams were led by head coach Jim Lewis and assistant coach John Moss. Both teams won more games combined (59) in a two year period than any other Pekin teams at that time. Six players; Don Ehrett, Herb Gerecke, Howie Harris, Bert Van Horn, Chuck Busby, and Jay Nelson played on both squads that placed 4th in state in 1947 and 3rd in state in 1948. Both teams were their respective season’s Greater Peoria Conference Champs and were ranked in the top ten in the regular season basketball poll; #10 in 1947 and #1 in 1948. In 1948, Herb Gerecke was named to the Chicago Daily News all-state team and 6-2 senior, Chuck Busby (top vote getter), Bob Watson, Jay Nelson, and Herb Gerecke were voted to the all-state tournament squad.