Inductees The first inductee selected by the newly-formed "Old Timers Committee", Mark Harper won 11 varsity letters in four sports at Peoria High School (Central) in the 1920's before signing a professional basketball contract with the Chicago Bruins.
As a track star for the Lions, Harper was a shotputter and consistently went over six feet in the high jump; his athletic reputation grew while playing tackle in football, first base in baseball, and center in basketball. A six-footer at age 13 who would stand 6-foot-4 inches as a high school sophomore, Harper helped Central earn a third-place finish in the 1922 state high school basketball tournament.
He played semi-pro basketball for several area teams prior to signing an American Professional Basketball League contract in 1924 for $400 a month with the Chicago Bruins, a team owned by the legendary George Halas who traded him in 1927 to the Washington D.C.'s (later known as the Brooklyn Visitations).
In 1930, he joined the Fort Wayne Hoosiers, who went on to capture a divisional title only to lose in the league championship game to the New York Celtics on Nat Holman's last second shot.
From 1931 until 1935, the final year of his professional basketball career, Harper toured with the House of David Independent Professional team out of Benton Harbor, Michigan. He has been a Rock Island railroad retiree since 1969.
The first inductee selected by the newly-formed "Old Timers Committee", Mark Harper won 11 varsity letters in four sports at Peoria High School (Central) in the 1920's before signing a professional basketball contract with the Chicago Bruins.
|Jerry & Elaine Reibling|
For four decades Jerry and Elaine have volunteered their time and effort to benefit the runners competing in events within the Tri-County. Just prior to Jerry’s induction into the Steamboat Classic Hall of Fame in 2015, the race’s co-founder, Steve Shostrom said, “Jerry and Elaine are treasures in the running community. They have made substantial, lasting contributions to the Steamboat Classic and the Illinois Valley Striders over the years. They have worked tirelessly at countless local races through heat, rain, ice, snow and wind to get quick, accurate results for runners of all ages and abilities." Jerry was involved with the Steamboat Classic for 35 years and Elaine has been a part of the Race for the Cure for about 30 years. Married over 50 years, the Rieblings helped pioneer the transformation from hand timing to computerized timing for the major running events in the Tri-County area. In addition to the Steamboat Classic and Race for the Cure, they have served at the following events over their decades of service: the IHSA State Cross Country Meet; Illinois Valley Striders events; countless high school invitationals including the Richard Spring Memorial Invitational (Peoria Notre Dame) and the Peoria High Invitational at Detweiler Park; and Bradley University and the University of Illinois cross country meets and invitationals. Jerry has also raised funds for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by participating in the Memphis to Peoria Run and running the satellite event from Canton to Peoria. The dedication and passion of Jerry and Elaine for these events has enabled thousands of others to experience achievement and enjoyment while competing in running events.