IBCA Hall of Fame

HOF Friends

 

Frank VronaName: Frank Vrona

Year Inducted: 1983

Category: Friends of Basketball

Schools / Organizations:
(Berwyn/Cicero) Morton High School
 

Biography:  Frank Vrona played high school basketball and football at Oregon High School before attending North Central College where he was a member of the undefeated 1933 football team. Since moving to Berwyn, Vrona has been a rabid fan for Morton East and West basketball teams, attending most games since 1949. Vrona has attended every state basketball tournament for the past 20 years, leading to his 1983 Hall of Fame induction. Basketball is this retired Western Electric employee’s greatest source of entertainment. Vrona managed to be at most suburban Christmas tournaments and was always cheering his favorite teams in regional and sectionals.

 

August SlobodaName: August Sloboda

Year Inducted: 1983

Category: Friends of Basketball

Schools / Organizations:
(Cicero) Morton High School
 

Biography:  (Article written for his induction to the IBCA Hall of Fame in 1983) When you follow your favorite high school basketball team you are sure to experience great emotional highs and lows. That certainly is the case for Augie Sloboda of Cicero. Sloboda’s favorite team brought him state championships two times and once a national championship. He also recalls having his favorite’s ranked No. 1 and being upset in the regional. Sloboda has followed Morton of Cicero basketball since 1924. Imagine Sloboda’s delight in 1926 when Morton defeated Batesville, Arkansas 18-16 for the national championship at the University of Chicago. That continued in 1932 and 1941 when Morton won state championships. Despair came for Sloboda when top ranked Morton was upset in the 1951 Hinsdale Regional. Upon retiring from Western Electric after 43 years of service in 1971, Sloboda has watched three or four high school games a week. Sloboda calls the great Thornridge teams led by Quinn Buckner as the best he’s seen. He also lists Isiah Thomas, Bill Hapac, Max Hooper, Dike Eddleman, Jim Vopicka, and Mark Aguirre on his all-time Illinois team. Sloboda said his favorite times of the year are during the Proviso West Christmas Tourney and the Illinois State Tournament.

 

 

 

 

Frank PitolName: Frank Pitol

Year Inducted: 1983

Category: Friends of Basketball

Schools / Organizations:
Collinsville High School
Eastern Illinois University

 

Biography:  Frank Pitol has taken part in the state basketball tournament as a manager, player, coach, and athletic director at Collinsville High School. Pitol played basketball on the first Collinsville basketball team coached by Hall of Famer Vergil Fletcher, then coached under Fletcher for 15 years. An all-conference player for the Kahoks, Pitol played three seasons at Eastern Illinois University where he lettered in football, basketball, and track. His master’s thesis at Eastern was on Collinsville basketball and was published in a book entitled Wonderful World of Collinsville Basketball.  As athletic director, Frank was pivotal in beginning the Collinsville Holiday Tournament.  He was named as the Illinois Athletic Director of the Year in 1987 and 1990.  Frank died on August 22, 2009 at the age of 79.

 

 

John and Lois PriceName: John and Lois Price

Year Inducted: 1983

Category: Friends of Basketball

Schools / Organizations:
Streator High School
 

Biography:  Upon their Hall of Fame induction in 1983, John and Lois Price had been married not only to each other for 44 years, but also to Streator High School basketball. Season ticket holders since 1945, the Prices attended virtually every Bulldog game since 1960 including tournaments at Morris, Pontiac, Centralia, and Pekin. John Price helped organize the Streator YMCA church basketball league for grade school boys in 1950, serving as its first president and coaching a team in it for more than 15 years. In 1969 they were presented a plaque for their loyalty to Streator High School athletics. The following year they helped organize the Bulldog Booster Club and served as president for three years. They were recognized by the Booster Club with jackets in 1980. At a 1982 Fan Appreciation night, the Prices were presented a plaque for 37 years as season ticket holders. John Price was on the board of directors for the Streator High School Hall of Fame. Don Morris first played his way into the Prices’ hearts as a Streator standout in the early 1940’s, but other Bulldogs like Gary Masley, Bull Rohlman, John Bailey, and Jodie Harrison also have found a place there. Their enjoyment of high school basketball and the kids who play it could only be exceeded by the endearment they attracted from Streator basketball fans, administrators, coaches, and players.  John Price died on October 21, 2003 followed by Lois, nearly a decade later on February 22, 2013.

 

 

 

 

George MasonName: George Mason

Year Inducted: 1983

Category: Coaches

Schools / Organizations:
Amboy High School

 

Biography:  George Mason began his career as a vital part of the Amboy High School basketball program in 1931. He served as Amboy Grade School basketball coach from 1951-1969.  A member of the Clipper’s 1943 IHSA Amboy regional champions, Mason also played basketball at Illinois State in 1947-1948. As the principal at Amboy Grade School, Mason has volunteered his time and services at Amboy as official basketball timer for more than 30 years. Mason’s son Jim was an all-state basketball center for Amboy in 1973. Mason’s total commitment to the Amboy High School basketball program will never be forgotten.