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Arthur “Buz” Sievers has long-standing ties to Piatt County.

Not just because of his invaluable work behind the scenes with the Monticello boys’ basketball program that was recognized last year when the new gymnasium the Sages will eventually play games in — the Arthur “Buz” Sievers Center — was named in his honor.

His grandfather, Dr. W.N. Sievers, practiced medicine in White Heath for 50 years.

Served as president of the high school board of education, too, during the Great Depression.

His father, Arnold L. “Doc” Sievers, practiced law in Monticello for 50 years and was involved in local school boards, too.

Humble to a fault, the 72-year-old Sievers does have one request when it comes to the new hoops venue in Piatt County that bears his name.

“I am honored beyond words that the board gave me that honor, but I hope that as the gym is finished out that there will be a way to add a mention of my grandfather and father and their wives because without this tradition of community service, I would not have been in the position to do what I have done for the district,” Sievers said. “While this has my name on it, it really is the culmination of the work of three generations of the Sievers family.”

Buz is getting along these days, even without Monticello High School basketball games to attend amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Or the copious pregame notes and box scores he sends out before and after every Sages game that rival what Division I programs offer.

Or the upcoming allure of working all morning, day and night — really, he enjoys it — at the annual Holiday Hoopla.

Monticello would typically host an eight-team boys’ basketball tournament and an eight-team girls’ basketball tournament during three jam-packed days of holiday tournament action later this month.

Even during this pandemic-affected school year, Sievers said he is at the high school nearly every day because of his consultant role with the school district. So he gets a chance to check out the swanky new gymnasium that will seat 1,500 people once, you know, 1,500 people are allowed safely back into gyms for sporting events.

“Sports have always been an important part of my life,” Sievers said. “I certainly miss watching the teams play but I’m thankful that the Governor, the IHSA and the school district are working to take care of all of us during this time. Would I like to be involved in sports six to seven nights a week like in the past? Sure, but knowing that the protection of everyone comes first makes it bearable.”

Sievers doesn’t want to slow down, either, when coach Kevin Roy’s successful program gets back on the hardwood.

“When people ask me if I’m going to retire,” Sievers said, “my answer is as long as my health is good and it’s fun and productive to continue, why should I?”

Matt Daniels is the sports editor at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at 217-373-7422 or at mdaniels@news-gazette.com.

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