Bogie is a legend: Former Kahok star inducted into Illinois Hall of Fame

News-DemocratJanuary 7, 2014 

— Former Collinsville High basketball star Bogie Redmon in November was inducted into a hall of fame he hopes will one day have a permanent home.

Redmon, 70, a 1961 graduate of Collinsville who went on to play at the University of Illinois, was among a 25-member class to join the Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame and Museum. Ceremonies were held in Champaign.

Redmon, part of the Post-1960s class, was joined by: Doug Collins, Benton; Mike Duff, Eldorado; Ronnie Fields, Farragut; Kiwane Garris and Hersey Hawkins, Westinghouse; Rashard Griffith, King; Sam Puckett, Hales Franciscan; Deon Thomas, Simeon; and Dwyane Wade, Richards.

Redmon was a 6-foot-6 all-stater and All-American in 1961, averaging 21.3 points and 11 rebounds as Collinsville won the state tourmanent with a 32-0 record. Redmon missed nine games that season with a broken ankle.

"It's a real honor to be included with a lot of the names that are associated with it," Redmon said of his most recent honor. "Especially Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Her name is synonymous with athletics."

Joyner-Kersee, the former track and field Olympian from East St. Louis, was in the women's class and attended the ceremony.

Joyner-Kersee, who played at defunct East St. Louis Lincoln, was inducted along with: Nancy Kennelly Olson, Maine West; Carla McGhee, Peoria Manual; Tangela Smith, Chicago Washington; and Michele Savae, Immaculate Heart of Mary.

A 10-member Pre-1960s class also was inducted: Perry Barclift, Quincy; Jesse Clements, Champaign; Nate "Sweetwater" Clifton, Du Sable; Dick Foley, Paris; Phil Judson, Hebron; Walter Kirk, Mount Vernon; Billy Ridley, Taylorville; Hiles Stout, Peoria; Don Sunderlage, Elgin; and Whitey Verstraete, Moline.

The Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame and Museum still is without its own building. Plans are for one to be constructed in downtown Pinckneyville, where the Pinckneyville Antique Mall and Kunz Opera House stood until a fire detroyed them in 2011.

"That's what we're trying to work on, but it's a pretty big hill to climb," Redmon said, noting that raising enough money for the multimillion-dollar project has proved challenging in tough economic times. "I'm on the board of directors, but seriously, what that means is you're trying to raise money. ...

"It's pretty expensive, so I don't know if it's going to happen. If we could get into the corporate donors, that would be what we would need. But you've got to have some folks who want to back it, and the bottom line is it takes a lot of money. It would be nice to have it there (in Pinckneyville)."

Redmon lives in Glen Carbon and still works part-time with his son, Kai, at Redmon Insurance Agency in Collinsville. Bogie's work occasionally takes him into Edwardsville, the land of Collinsville's longtime rival.

"There's a lot of folks up in Edwardsville who like to talk basketball, too," Redmon said. "It's been so good. Being involved with basketball in Edwardsville, I had a lot of acquaintances who I played against.

"When we were running around in high school, I would go to the Wildey Theatre. Some of the kids would say hi. (Now) some of the people that maybe I didn't play against, but they were right before me, I've run into them. At least you're not a stranger. They accept you readily. It's just great."

Redmon has a grandson, Lawson, who is in sixth grade at Liberty Middle School in Edwardsville and plays on the basketball team.

Redmon has a great-nephew, Cole Harper, who is a 6-5 junior at Chatham Glenwood High, near Springfield. Harper will play for the Titans against Fort Zumwalt North at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Highland Optimist/Scott Credit Union Shootout.

"He's a ballhandler," Redmon said. "He can move so much better than I ever could. I could never handle the ball. But Cole is really good. We're going up there to watch him (Saturday). He's not their big gun, but he's right there. He's a heck of a ballplayer."

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665.

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