Happy 40th, Coach Dancer!

Happy 40th, Coach Dancer!

Louis "Pick" Dehner

Sunday marks the 96th anniversary of the birth of Louis "Pick" Dehner, an Illini basketball star of the 1930s. Born and raised in Lincoln, his career spanned from 1935 to '39. He earned first-team All-America honors as a senior, joining fellow Big Ten stars Ernie Andres of Indiana and Jimmy Hull of Ohio State. The 6-foot-5 Dehner paced the Illini in scoring his last two seasons, averaging 12.5 points per game in an era when the team averaged 39 points per game. He scored a Madison Square Garden-record 25 points against Manhattan on Dec. 27, 1938. Dehner was the head basketball coach at East St. Louis High School from 1942 to '74, winning 549 games. His '43-44 ESL squad went 31-8 and advanced to the state quarterfinals. He was selected to the Illinois Basketball Coaches inaugural Hall of Fame class in 1973. Dehner died April 7, 1987, in Belleville at the age of 72. His son, Louis "Pepper" Dehner, is a renowned doctor who is an expert in pediatric tumors.

Illini Birthdays

Sunday: Perdita Felicien, track & field (30)

Monday: J.J. Simmons, football (26)

Tuesday: Tal Brody, basketball (67)

Wednesday: Brad Dancer, tennis coach (40)

Thursday: James Griffin, basketball (52)

Friday: Art Schankin, fencing (83)

Saturday: George Donnelly, football (68)

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

Sections (3):Illini Sports, Sports, Tennis
Categories (3):Illini Sports, Tennis, Sports