The University of Illinois is honoring its most decorated basketball players in school history by hanging a banner with their name and number from the roof of the Assembly Hall. A total of 20 men's players have earned a spot on this list and will be honored Sept. 13 during the Night of Legends alumni basketball game, scheduled for 7 p.m.
Illinois men's basketball season ticket holders currently have the first opportunity to purchase tickets for the alumni game. Tickets are $15 each. Should tickets remain following the sale to season ticket holders, the general public will have an opportunity to purchase tickets beginning Aug. 21 from the UI Athletics Ticket Office, located at the Assembly Hall, or online at www.fightingillini.com.
Players selected to have their jerseys hung at the Assembly Hall must have achieved one of the following criteria: 1) National Player of the Year; 2) Enshrined in the National Basketball Hall of Fame; 3) U.S. Olympian; 4) Big Ten Player of the Year; 5) Consensus First or Second Team All-American.
Ray Woods was a three-time first-team All-America selection by the Helms Foundation from 1915-17 and was the Helms National Player of the Year as a senior in 1917. Woods, along with his twin brother, Ralf, helped lead the Illini to the Helms Foundation National Championship in 1915 with a perfect 16-0 record.
Chuck Carney became the second Illini to be named National Player of the Year by the Helms Foundation, earning the award in 1922. A two-time Helms first-team All-American and All-Big Ten selection in 1920 and 1922, Carney set the conference single-season scoring record of 188 points in 1920 that stood for 22 years. One of the greatest athletes in Illinois history, he also was an All-American for Bob Zuppke's football squad in 1920.
Bill Hapac was the program's first consensus first-team All-American as recognized by the NCAA, receiving the honor as a senior in 1940. That same year, he became the first-ever recipient of the University of Illinois Athlete of the Year award. Hapac set the Big Ten single-game scoring record on Feb. 10, 1940, with 34 points vs. Minnesota, a point total unheard of at that time. In addition to his success on the hardwood, Hapac also was a three-year letterwinner for the Illini baseball team.
Woods, Carney and Hapac join the previously announced names of Deron Williams, Dee Brown and Luther Head to have their jerseys hung at Assembly Hall. The remaining 14 former players to be honored will be released over the coming weeks leading up to the reunion game.