All-Time 5 is back! This time, the debate will be hotter than ever as Gordon Voit releases his Regional All-Star Teams: the best lineup you could make from each area (Decatur, Springfield, Champaign, Southland and Midwest)
MIDWEST REGION ALL-STARS (Logan/Christian/DeWitt County area)
G – Ron Bontemps, Taylorville (Beloit) 6-2; Team USA Gold Medal in 1952 (Helsinki), Co-Captain of 45-0 1945 team; First-Team All-State; First Team All-State Tournament Team; 4th in state in scoring (613 points), THS HOF, 57 points in a game at Beloit; 1,744 points at Beloit; “National Outstanding Amateur Basketball Player in 1954; Class of 1944
G - Gene Vance, Clinton (Illinois Whiz Kids, NBA) 6-3, 2x All-American UI, Illini All-Century Team, 1st Team All-State AP 1940 (one team)
SF - Chuck Verderber, Lincoln (Kentucky) 6-6, McDonald's All-American (1978); 2,032 points (2nd), 1,014 rebounds (1st), Sectional title and 28-2 record 1978; 26 ppg senior year; 8-4 best year at Kentucky; Played all four years UK, started last two; Class of 1978
PF - Norm Cook, Lincoln (Kansas, NBA) 6-9, All-American at LCHS, 2x All-State (one team) 1972 + 1973, Led Railers to 25-0 record and No. 1 ranking; 1,697 points (4th); 15-8 best season Kansas; Big 8 Freshman of the Year and started all 30 games on '74 Kansas Final Four team; All-Big 8, co-captain; First Jayhawk to leave early since Wilt Chamberlain; 16th overall pick in 1976 NBA Draft to Celtics; Class of 1973
PF/C - Brian Cook, Lincoln (Illinois, NBA) 6-9, McDonald’s All-American (1999), All-American at Illinois; Big Ten Player of the Year (2003); 24th pick in 2003 NBA Draft; 3x All-Big Ten, Big Ten Freshman of the Year 10 years in NBA with LAL, LAC, HOU, ORL, WSH; Best year in NBA 8-3; Class of 1999
Too many to mention, but Neil Alexander (Lincoln) and many other Lincoln legends join the Taylorville Mt. Rushmore that includes Dolph Stanley, Johnny Orr and Brian James.
Three off the bench (see note on Rick Lamb)
F/C – Seymour Reed, Lincoln (Bradley) 6-6, 5th round NBA Draft pick of Lakers; 1,478 points LCHS (6th); 871 reb (3rd); 16-9 best year BU; double figures scoring all three years BU; 1,138 points BU; Class of 1970
PG - Dan Duff, Lincoln (Notre Dame) 6-0, First Team All-State (two-class system); 1st assists 622 (210 higher than No. 2), 8 apg senior year; 991 points; State team 1980 (4th, 30-3) and 28-1 senior year; IBCA All-Star MVP 1981; 4 apg best year ND; Class of 1981
SG - Gregg Alexander, Lincoln (Illinois State) 6-4, 1st points 2,085, 1st steals, 1st FT %; IBCA 1st Team All-State (two-class system); 24 ppg senior, State team 1999, 28-4 record as sophomore (1999) with Brian Cook; 4-year starter ISU, 1,023 points ISU, 11-3 best year ISU, 2nd 3FG all-time (224), .460 3FG one year, .411 career; Class of 2001
C – Rick Lamb, Illiopolis (Illinois State, CBA/overseas/NBA camps) 6-8, 245, 36 ppg senior, 1979 Area POY; 5th round pick of Suns. (Technically Sangamon County but it falls in the yellow zone on the map)
G – Johnny Orr, Taylorville (Illinois, Beloit, NBA) Coaching legend (Iowa State, Michigan) who was a superstar himself and a 2nd round pick of the Lakers in 1948; Co-captain of 1944 state championship team
PG - Bill Ridley, Taylorville (Illinois) 5-9, 3rd Team AA, All-Big Ten, 2nd points THS; Class of 1952
G - Bill McKeown, Clinton (Illinois) 6-2, 1st Team All-State AP 1961, 11 ppg senior year UI, Single-season scoring record 1960-61 832 pts
G - Bobby Guy, Beason; Guy led the state in scoring as a senior (33.8 ppg), enough said. His 2,149 career points from 1959-62 are 89th all-time in the history of Illinois high school basketball.
Next off bench
PF – Eric Weaver, Illiopolis (Bradley baseball, MLB) 6-5, 230, RP for 3 years MLB, 36.3 ppg, 23.2 rpg senior year; 2nd team IBCA All-State; Class of 1991
G - Joe Cook, Lincoln (Duke) 6-2, 1,237 points 13th, 18-5-6 apg for Big 12 champs his senior year LCHS; “He’s a competitive person and an excellent defensive player. He’s intelligent and expresses himself well.” – Coach K to H&R’s Joe Cook in April of 1987; Chose Duke over Purdue, Marquette and Evansville; Class of 1987
G/F - Jeff Clements, Mt. Pulaski (Illinois Wesleyan) 6-3, 1977 Area POY, 2,212 points is 1st all time; star of 1976 state champs (29-2); Top 100 legend IHSA State
Special addition: Pana. The Panthers won the Class 1A title in 1988 and was runner-up in 2001. But they did it with total team efforts! They might not land an individual player on the Top 10 of this region's roster, but there has to be a mention of Pana's incredible success for a "Midwest Region" to be discussed properly. G Justin Shrake (2002) is the all-time leading scorer with 1,736 points and 1988 stars Mark Heaton and Tom Funneman were All-State Tournament. Too many stars to name here but here's a full list of record-holders from Pana's rich history.