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.
|2011 Tri-County Female Athlete of the Year|
The highlight of Caitlin Comfort's final cross country season at the University of Wisconsin was her second-place finish at the 2011 Big Ten championship at Urbana. The 2008 Peoria Notre Dame graduate finished the 6-kilometer course in 20:12, behind only Caitlin Lane of Penn State (19:58). Comfort went on to place third in her NCAA regional and 119th in the NCAA championship.