Southern Illinois University Hall of Fame 2011 Class Announced

Our Alma Mater (is that correct when two people have graduated from a school?) recently announced the new additions to the Southern Illinois University Hall of Fame for 2011, and boy do I feel old already.

Darren Brooks, HOFer

Darren Brooks is the biggest name in this year’s class.  He graduated just one semester after I did and the kid’s already going to have his picture hanging up somewhere in the Student Center for thousands of kids to ignore as they take the shortcut from Thompson Woods to Taco Bell Express.

He did have a good run at our Mid-Major school in the MVC (the same conference that produced the Bulls’ newest guard Kyle Korver, which means I have to root for him now despite the fact that he was the ring leader of our arch nemesis Creighton!).  Brooks was the Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year two years in a row.  He broke school single-season records for steals (as well as all-time) and assists.  He led the team in scoring, rebounds, assists, and steals in his final year.  SIU won the Conference all four years he was on the floor and went to the Sweet 16 in 2002 (although he wasn’t a major contributor that year).

SIU’s basketball program has dropped off the past couple of years, but hopefully starting on November 13, things will change.  As for Brooks, he too dropped off.  He played in the NBA’s Developmental League (D-League) for one season averaging 4.6 points and 1 assist in 23 games.

Also going in is Troy Hudson, who I don’t know, but apparently played 11 seasons in the NBA from 1998-2008.  I stopped following the NBA by that time, but the write-up says he had the nickname “Laker Killer” for his post-season play, so he can’t be all that bad.

But those are the new guys.  Who, you may ask, from our prestigious school is already plastered on the side of the escalator that leads up to the auditorium and the LARPer’s hangout (no seriously, some of the pictures are on the side of an escalator)?

On the Basketball side, how about a guy named Walt Frazier?  Yeah, he’s probably the biggest success to come out of our school.  I don’t believe I would have any of his cards to show off on here.

For baseball, our school can boast the likes of

Go Salukis!

Steve Finley and former Cub Jerry Hairston Jr.  Not too horrible, right?  But wait, there’s more.

I totally missed class in the same building that this guy missed class!

This was a surprise to me.  I never heard this while I was down there.  I heard Finley’s name.  I knew that Jim Belushi had attended.  Dennis Franz has a placard somewhere in the comm building.  Rumors are that Richard Roundtree may have went there.  Jenny McCarthy went briefly, I believe.  The guy that invented Dippin’ Dots.  But no one mentioned No-Hittin’ Steib.  Pretty cool.  Steib actually played outfield at SIU (underwhelmingly at that).

Also on the list of people who went to SIU (may not be in the hall of fame there) and were involved with pro baseball:

Jim Dwyer
Jason Frasor
Duane Kiper (just glad it’s not Krukow – not a fan of his announcing)
Al Levine
Bill Stein
Dan Thomas

So, as you can see, it’s not a great list, but SIU is a school that has its moments like any other.  Here’s to Darren Brooks and all the other 2011 Hall of Fame honorees!  Go Dawgs!  If we’re lucky, we’ll see you in the NCAA Tournament in March.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to figure out a way to boost my Hall of Fame credentials, because evidently I’m slacking over here.

5 comments to Southern Illinois University Hall of Fame 2011 Class Announced

  • I worked with a guy who was a huge Southern Illinois fan. I have no idea why because he didn’t go there or even live in the area.

    But he named his fantasy baseball team the Salukis and talked about their nickname all the time. I notice you didn’t mention “Salukis.” Do they not refer to themselves as that anymore?

  • It’s Dawgs or nothin’!

    No, they do actually call themselves the Salukis still. But maybe everyone got tired of hearing the “Hey, what’s a Saluki?!” from the announcers during the two March Madness years during our tenure there.

  • zebbers

    Creighton is the MVC’s nemesis. Saluki’s out!

  • Danielle

    You should have done more research on Darren Brooks before making the statement that “he too dropped off”. Though he only played in the NBA Development League for one year, he played overseas in Germany, Holland, Australia, and Puerto Rico in several TOP Leagues, averaging double digit points.

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