The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

March 20, 2013

Fans look forward to tourney

DANVILLE — When visitors walk into the Mary Miller Gymnasium at Danville Area Community College to watch a National Junior College Athletic Association basketball game, fans from as young as babies to elementary school children to adults line the bleachers.

The fans come from all over to watch their teams, including squads from Arizona to New Jersey, Michigan to Maryland, Iowa to New York and everywhere in between, including lots of basketball fans from Danville.

Two fans from Iowa who traveled 10 hours to come see their Iowa Lakes Community College Lakers play this week were John and Carolyn Walz, of Estherville, Iowa.

They were dressed in their sports gear, ready to cheer on their Lakers. The 69-year-old and 71-year-old, respectively, were last in Danville in 2000 and also 1998.

They remember loving coming to Danville for the tournament and especially seeing tournament director Dick Shockey.

That’s how they first came to Danville to see the tournament here, through a mutual friend of theirs and Shockey’s, former Iowa Lakes Community College president Jim Billings.

The Walzes checked to see if Shockey was still involved in the tournament this year and learned from Shockey that he was. That’s when they decided to travel with the team back to Danville.

“We’ve been connected to the college forever,” Carolyn said, of their 30 years being involved with the team.

Carolyn has served as “team mom,” while John has been staff keeper. Their son also was a ball boy, and they’ve served as a host family.

Of course they’re big basketball fans. Also, they’ve made lots of connections in traveling with the team, such as to Danville.

They said Danville easily stands out, however, in hosting the tournament.

“The thing we like is the hospitality here,” John said, adding that Shockey is a big part of making tournament guests feel welcome.

From the man selling the tickets at the front door, to the free programs and other aspects, John said all those involved make the tournament very inviting.

Danville is like another “hometown,” for them, John and Carolyn added.

“It feels like we’re coming home. We love Danville,” Carolyn said.

The Walzes stay at a hotel here and had already shopped at the new Kohl’s.

Other fans in the stands didn’t have to travel as far to see the games this week.

Adam Grimes, with The Harris Insurance Agency in Hoopeston, normally comes to the tournament every year whether DACC is playing or not, such as was the case this year. He said he loves watching DACC play, but also loves watching good basketball.

He said going to the tournament is part work because he can talk to people and make connections.

Grimes said it’s exciting to see “the quality of basketball” here and possible future basketball stars.

One player from Mott Community College in Flint, Mich., went onto Ohio State, he added.

Grimes said he’ll come a few times during the week to watch games.

“I’ll be at this weekend’s championship for sure,” Grimes said.

Two other local fans, Pete Caudill and Gene Thompson, both of Danville, were attending the tournament for their first and second times, respectively.

Caudill said Thompson suggested they attend, and they decided to “come on out.” They said they just wanted to watch some good basketball games. They planned to come back multiple times during the week.

Another fan in the stands, Rick Randall, also is a volunteer at the tournament. Randall said he watches the games when he can while also volunteering.

“It’s a lot of good basketball,” he said, agreeing with a lot of the other fans.

He’s retired, so he likes coming out each year to the tournament.

“I think it’s great for Danville. It brings in a lot of money …,” Randall said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Police, Fire Reports

    April 16, 2014

  • Hoopeston council hears water project update

    Mike Streff, Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC, updated city council members Tuesday on the continuing progress of the ground and elevated water storage tank project.

    April 16, 2014

  • Trojans get past Ramblers

    STAFF REPORT sports@dancomnews.com ATTICA, Ind. -- Regan Foster hit a home run and drove in three runs as the Covington softball team defeated Attica 8-5 on Tuesday in Wabash River Conference action. Andi Taylor had three hi

    April 16, 2014

  • Mayor looks for fire committee members by Labor Day DANVILLE - Now with budget discussions done for the time being, Mayor Scott Eisenhauer is looking for people to serve on a committee to analyze the fire division and its future. He'd like recommendations from the committee to the city council by Labo

    April 16, 2014

  • Salary talks go on at meeting DANVILLE -- Few members of the Vermilion County Board came out strongly for or against the issue of salaries for county offices and positions. Members of the Vermilion County Board discussed the issue of salary increases for offices up for election i

    April 16, 2014

  • Hoopeston group discusses economic development

    Economic growth was on the agenda Monday night in Hoopeston as about 50 people gathered at St. Anthony's Parish Hall to discuss an economic development strategy for the city.

    April 15, 2014

  • Covington Middle School students win at Purdue Science Fair

    Eighth-grader A.J. Kline and seventh-graders Shiley Claypool and Diana Shelby told school board members about their science fair projects Monday night. They competed at the Lafayette Regional Science and Engineering Fair at Purdue University last month.

    April 15, 2014

  • Oakwood sells its water and sewer systems

    Village trustees are faced with a responsibility many small towns would love to have — what to do with $2 million in cash.

    April 15, 2014

  • SpaceX delays station delivery launch CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A space station cargo ship will remain Earthbound for a while longer. With less than two hours remaining, the Space X company called off Monday's planned launch from Cape Canaveral. A new launch date was not set; the next atte

    April 15, 2014

  • Banquet to honor Shockey

    April 15, 2014

E-edition
AP Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America Applicants Vying for 'World's Toughest Job' Get Heartwarming Surprise Awkward: Crist catches Lt. Gov. insulting him on camera NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse US Airways Tweets Graphic Photo of Nude Woman Behind the scenes of the Marathon anniversary photo shoot American Airlines Responds After Girl Tweets Alleged Terror Threat 'Joke' Charlie White's "Dancing" Mistake Olympic Great & Baltimore Native Michael Phelps Ends Retirement; Eyes Rio
Must Read