SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate on Wednesday honored Edwardsville's Ed Hightower upon his retirement as a college basketball referee.
Hightower was presented with a "game ball" signed by senators.
The well-known Hightower served 36 years as an NCAA basketball official, and announced his retirement from officiating at the end of the 2013-14 season.
Hightower will continue serving at his day job, as superintendent of Edwardsville Community Unit School District 7.
Hightower, who called his final game in December, said he's "the luckiest guy in the world" for a career working with young people.
Downstate senators James Clayborne of Belleville, Bill Haine of Alton and Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, all Democrats, welcomed Hightower to the Senate.