TriCounty Patience Grayer, a dominating 6-foot-1 player for Peoria Manual High School, averaged 21 points and 14 rebounds last season and was named the Peoria Journal Star's Class AA Player of the Year.
She was a first team selection on All-State teams selected by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Champaign News-Gazette as well as the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.
She finished second on the all-time Manual scoring list with 2,005 points, is the school's all-time leading rebounder with 1,214 and three times selected to the Mid-State 9 all-conference first team.
Patience Grayer, a dominating 6-foot-1 player for Peoria Manual High School, averaged 21 points and 14 rebounds last season and was named the Peoria Journal Star's Class AA Player of the Year.
Hockey was a sport local fans could watch only if they went to Chicago or St. Louis until BardezBanian founded the Peoria Stars in 1959.
The two were with the Pekin Stars until 1970, when they formed the Peoria Blades, on the outdoor rink at Logan, in 1971. The Logan "bubble" went up the next year and the Blades, through membership in the Continental League, gave Peoria a solid taste of hockey.
BardezBanian played with the Blades for a few years, then became president while Olson always served as the team's general manager.
And the two gave hockey a boost whenever they could. BardezBanian coached the Bradley University club team for many years and both were instrumental in starting and maintaining youth hockey in Pekin and Peoria.
Both are now retired, Olson from Caterpillar's Mossville plant and BardezBanian from a management position with the City of Peoria.