The WISCH LIST
By Dave Wischnowsky
Some of today’s sports figures deserve greater recognition (Lou Henson) and some don’t (Pete Rose). Some local sports executives are worthy of big kudos (Theo Epstein) and some aren’t (Mike Thomas).
And, as you might expect, I have some thoughts about it all.
Just Lou-Do it
Sometimes it seems like much of Illini Nation has forgotten that the University of Illinois’ basketball program was in existence prior to B.S.
That’s “Before Self,” not the other thing you were thinking.
But this week it was refreshing to find that an 18-year-old U. of I. sophomore who wasn’t even born when Lou Henson retired back in 1996 is leading the push on campus to honor the 83-year-old hoops legend.
Sam LeRoy – a Champaign native and a member of the 50-person U. of I. student senate – says he’ll soon introduce a resolution to name the renovated State Farm Center’s court in honor of Henson, the winningest coach in school history.
“I think the greatest impact this will have is to connect Fighting Illini fans to Lou Henson for years to come,” LeRoy told the Champaign News-Gazette about the nonbinding proposal. “I think it’s fair to say he was the single most impactful coach in basketball history, not only because of what he did on the court, but because of what he did off the court in helping to establish Orange Krush as a cheering section and as a philanthropic organization that it is.”
I couldn’t agree more. And with Henson in poor health of late, it would be wonderful to see him celebrated appropriately while he’s still around to enjoy it.