The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

November 8, 2013

IBCA, Danville end relationship on Hall of Fame

BY CHAD DARE
The Commercial-News

DANVILLE — The Hall of Fame for the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association is no longer located in Danville.

After a meeting last month, the IBCA and the committee attempting to build a basketball museum at the David S. Palmer Arena in Danville jointly agreed to go their separate ways after forming the partnership in March of 2008.

"After six years with no museum and no opening date in sight, it was time for the IBCA to move on,'' said Bruce Firchau, a committee member of the IBCA Hall of Fame. "Unfortunately, things didn't work out between the IBCA and Danville.''

Danville mayor Scott Eisenhauer admitted it was a difficult decision for both parties.

"The Hall of Fame was just part of the museum that we are planning on building,'' he said. "We're still going to move forward with our plans to preserve the history of basketball in Illinois.

"And while this exclusive partnership has been dissolved at this current time, I think both sides have left open the possibility that things could change in the future.''

The IBCA, which collected all of its memorability last month, has been looking for a permanent home its Hall of Fame for almost 50 years. Before moving to Danville in 2008, it was a wall of fame in Bloomington-Normal hotel.

"I think the IBCA needs to look at itself,'' Firchau said. "We need to re-examine what we need for our Hall of Fame, and we need to explore some other areas of resources.

"We need to learn from our experiences.''

With the dissolution of the partnership, Eisenhauer said the Danville committee attempting to build a basketball museum will have some more freedom.

"We are going to be able to expand our vision and solicit a broader ranger of sponsorships,'' Eisenhauer said. "We were committed to getting a museum and hall of fame built, but with some of the troubles in our economy, a number of those corporate sponsorships dried up.

"Hopefully, some of the work that we've done in the past will come to fruition.''

Eisenhauer said that securing the funding is still the next major hurdle.

"We've have the architectural plans in place and we're ready to move forward when we have the funding,'' said Eisenhauer, who estimated it would take approximately 12-15 months to build the museum at the David S. Palmer Arena.

Former Danville High coach Gene Gourley and former Danville Area Community College coach John Spezia are members of the IBCA Hall of Fame.