TriCounty Tammy Van Oppen earned the coveted title of Illinois Ms. Basketball following the 1991-92 season with averages of 20.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 3 blocks per game for the 32-1 Limestone Community High School state girls high school tournament runners-up. The Rockets advanced to the Elite 8 in three of her last four years as a varsity starter.
Van Oppen was named to four all-state teams after her senior season in basketball, as well as to all-Metro teams by the Journal Star in basketball, volleyball, and softball.
The daughter of Jerry and Cheryl Van Oppen, Tammy set a state finals record for most three-point baskets in a single game (seven vs. Lyons Township) and was a 40 percent shooter from there, with 53.4 high school career shooting accuracy from all distances.
She ranks No. 2 in school scoring history with 1,814 points and set single-season records for most rebounds (323) and blocked shots (102). Now a freshman at the University of South Florida, Van Oppen poured through 27 points to lead an early-season Bullsí victory.
Hank Bruder, who starred at both Pekin High and Northwestern University, went on to become the outstanding pro football player ever produced by Central Illinois as his brilliant ten-year career with the Green Bay Packers would attest. He captained the 1930 Northwestern squad that was undefeated before bowing to Notre Dame in the season finale.