TriCounty Brandon Hughes became the latest in a long line of standout Manual High School basketball players in 1994 when he led the Rams to their first state championship since 1930.
Averaging 20.3 points and shooting .498, Hughes was Manualís "go-to" guy in vital situations and it was his two free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining that put down Carbondale 6 1-60 in the title game of the Class AA tournament in Champaign.
He was named to the Mid-State 6 all-conference team, was the Journal Star's Metro Player of the Year and selected to all-state teams by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Champaign News Gazette and the Associated Press.
He was also named Male Athlete of the Year by the IHSA Sports Report and honored by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.
He is now attending Barton County Junior College in Kansas.
Brandon Hughes became the latest in a long line of standout Manual High School basketball players in 1994 when he led the Rams to their first state championship since 1930.
Very few athletes had a high school career to match Howard Nathan. With a rainbow jumper and his high-top fade hairdo back in the`90s, Nathan epitomized the in-your-face, slap-the-floor defense that is a trademark of Peoria hoops. He led Manual high school to three Illinois state tournament appearances (1988, 90, 91). In his senior season he led Manual to a 2nd place finish. By playing the late quarterfinal Friday, Manual had to play three games in 23 hours, culminating in a championship loss that Saturday night. Nathan scored 19 points, 11 in the last 5 minutes. He finished his prep play with seven rebounds, six assists and two steals. He was tournament scoring leader, and his 13 3-point attempts are still a record for a title game.
Back in Peoria Nathan’s basketball legend grew. His teams won five straight Gus Macker titles from 1998 to 2002. In July 2006, Howard was paralyzed in an automobile accident and confined to a wheelchair.