Inductees "Dawdy" Hawkins, one of the most successful high school basketball coaches in the nation, directed his teams to state titles in two different states.
His Lincoln Northeast High School team won a Nebraska state prep crown in 1948, just before he left to take over at Peoria Central.
He quickly forged a powerhouse at Central, his 1952-53 team, led by brilliant center Hiles Stout, making it to the championship game of the Illinois state finals at the University of Illinois' old Huff Gym before bowing to LaGrange, 71-60.
Hawkins took three other Peoria Central teams to the state tournament (1954, 56, 59) and then, switching to Pekin, had five other state appearances (1964, 65, 66, 67, 73), including state championship teams in 1964 and 1967.
"Dawdy" Hawkins, one of the most successful high school basketball coaches in the nation, directed his teams to state titles in two different states.
Now known as the voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, Peorians remember him as the voice of Bradley Basketball for station WEEK. Chick Hearn broadcast the Braves games for six seasons in the late 1940s and early '50s, during one of Bradley University's greatest eras. Peoria fans soon grew accustomed to Hearnisms: such as "worldí's eye view," "caught with his hand in the cookie jar," and "dribble drive."