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Bill Hapac 1935

Bill Hapac was born January 26, 1918. He lived in 15th and Laramie, in Cicero, above his father’s tavern. He graduated from Roosevelt Grade School after skipping two grades. During his senior year, he was All-State in basketball and baseball. In basketball, he led the Suburban League in scoring with an average of 17.45 points per game. He accepted a scholarship to the University of Illinois but took a gap year before starting classes in 1937. There, he played basketball and baseball.

In 1940, he was named a Consensus All-American in Basketball and an All-American in Baseball. He was voted the 1940 University Of Illinois Athlete Of Year. Bill was also a member of the College All-Star team that defeated the Harlem Globetrotters. As Co-Captain of the 1940 Illinois Basketball team, Hapac scored 36 points in a game against the University of Minnesota.

Hapac was drafted by the Detroit Tigers, but while waiting for spring training to begin, Hapac was inducted into the US Army and served from 1941 to 1946. Hapac’s dedication to his country would earn him the rank of Captain. Following the war, Hapac coached at Morton from 1952 until his death in 1967.

Shortly after his death, the newly constructed gymnasium at Morton East was dedicated to his memory.