Happy 62nd, Dave Scholz!

Happy 62nd, Dave Scholz!

Dave Scholz

On Monday, Dave Scholz, one of the greatest Illini players from Decatur, celebrates his 62nd birthday. The all-stater from Stephen Decatur High School led his team to the Elite Eight in the state tournament in his junior and senior seasons. Illinois coach Harv Schmidt recruited Scholz to the Champaign-Urbana campus, and the 6-foot-8, 222-pound center eventually became a two-time, first-team All-Big Ten player. Scholz tallied 1,000 points in his first two eligible seasons – 1966-67 and 1967-68 – and included a 42-point effort against Northwestern that set an Assembly Hall record. In his next-to-last Illini game, he passed Don Freeman to become Illinois' most prolific scorer of all time. Scholz's career statistics showed him with averages of 20.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. He currently resides in Nashville, Tenn. Here is Illinois' top 10 in career points through the 1968-69 season:


Dave Scholz, 1967-69 1,459

Don Freeman, 1964-66 1,449

Dave Downey, 1961-63 1,360

John Kerr, 1952-54 1,299

Skip Thoren, 1963-65 1,164

Tal Brody, 1963-65 1,121

Bill Burwell, 1961-63 1,119

Paul Judson, 1954-56 1,013

Govoner Vaughn, 1958-60 1,001

Jim Dawson, 1965-67 976

Illini Birthdays

Sunday: Fritz Harms, football (64)

Monday: Dave Seifert, baseball (39)

Tuesday: Erin Virtue, volleyball (27)

Wednesday: Mike Durkin, cross-country/track & field (57)

Thursday: Carooq Taylor, football (52)

Friday: David James, football (35)

Saturday: Quinn Reynolds, soccer (25)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore and assistant athletic director at Miami (Ohio)

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OrlandoIllini wrote on April 11, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Thanks for the article about the six-eighter from Decatur. I remember keeping track of his scoring as I listened to Larry Stewart call the game on the radio in my dorm room, because I couldn't afford student tickets to the games.