Phillip, Kerr and Fletcher Next on List of Honored Jerseys
Sept. 9, 2008
Champaign, Ill. - Basketball Hall of Fame member Andy Phillip, Big Ten Player of the Year John "Red" Kerr and All-American Rod Fletcher are the next three Fighting Illini to be recognized by having their jerseys permanently displayed at Assembly Hall.
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 30 men's players have earned a spot on this distinguished list and their jerseys will be unveiled for the first time on Saturday at A Night of Legends alumni basketball game, scheduled for 7 p.m.
Tickets for Saturday's alumni game are $15 each and are on sale online or through the UI Athletics Ticket Office by phone at 217-333-3470 or 1-866-ILLINI-1, or in person at the Assembly Hall North Box Office.
Phillip is the only Illini to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player. He was a consensus first-team All-American and University of Illinois Athlete of the Year in 1942 and 1943 as the leader of the famed Whiz Kids, leading the Illini to back-to-back Big Ten championships. Following the war, he earned consensus second-team All-America honors in 1947. Phillip scored more than 6,000 points during an 11-year professional career, appearing in five All-Star games while twice earning All-NBA honors.
Kerr was an All-American and earned the Chicago Tribune Silver Basketball Trophy as Big Ten MVP in 1954. He averaged 25.3 points during his senior season, which stands as the second-highest single-season scoring average in school history. Kerr helped lead the Illini to a Big Ten title and the 1952 NCAA Final Four as a sophomore, earning a spot on the Final Four All-Tournament Team. Kerr finished his career as Illinois' all-time scoring leader with 1,299 points (now ranks 19th). He was a first-round NBA draft pick and enjoyed a 12-year pro career, scoring more than 12,000 points and playing in three All-Star games.
Fletcher helped lead the Illini to back-to-back Big Ten championships and NCAA Final Four appearances in 1951 and 1952. He earned consensus first-team All-America honors and first-team All-Big Ten honors as a senior after earning second-team all-conference accolades as a junior.
Phillip, Kerr and Fletcher join the previously announced names of Nick Anderson, Kenny Battle, Dee Brown, Chuck Carney, Jerry Colangelo, Jim Dawson, Bruce Douglas, Dave Downey, Dike Eddleman, Bill Erickson, Don Freeman, Kendall Gill, Bill Hapac, Derek Harper, Luther Head, Eddie Johnson, Walt Kirk, Ken Norman, Don Sunderlage, Deon Thomas, Skip Thoren, Gene Vance, Nick Weatherspoon, Deron Williams and Ray Woods to have their jerseys hung at Assembly Hall. The remaining two players to be honored will be released in the coming days leading up to the reunion game.
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; 6) Illinois All-Century Team Member.
Current List of Illinois Men's Basketball Honored Jerseys (28 of 30) Ray Woods 1915-17 G Evanston, Ill. Chuck Carney 1920-22 F Evanston, Ill. Bill Hapac 1938-40 F Chicago, Ill. Andy Phillip 1942-43, 47 F Granite City, Ill. Gene Vance 1942-43, 47 G Clinton, Ill. Walt Kirk 1944-45, 47 G Mt. Vernon, Ill. Dike Eddleman 1947-49 F Centralia, Ill. Bill Erickson 1947-50 G Rockford, Ill. Don Sunderlage 1949-51 G Elgin, Ill. Rod Fletcher 1950-52 G Champaign, Ill. John "Red" Kerr 1952-54 C Chicago, Ill. Jerry Colangelo 1960-62 G Chicago Heights, Ill. Dave Downey 1961-63 F Canton, Ill. Skip Thoren 1963-65 C Rockford, Ill. Don Freeman 1964-66 F Madison, Ill. Jim Dawson 1965-67 G Elmhurst, Ill. Nick Weatherspoon 1971-73 F Canton, Ohio Eddie Johnson 1978-81 F Chicago, Ill. Derek Harper 1981-83 G West Palm Beach, Fla. Bruce Douglas 1983-86 G Quincy, Ill. Ken Norman 1985-87 F Chicago, Ill. Nick Anderson 1988-89 F Chicago, Ill. Kenny Battle 1988-89 F Aurora, Ill. Kendall Gill 1987-90 G Matteson, Ill. Deon Thomas 1991-94 F/C Chicago, Ill. Luther Head 2002-05 G Chicago, Ill. Deron Williams 2003-05 G The Colony, Texas Dee Brown 2003-06 G Maywood, Ill.