In celebrating the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association’s and Title IX’s 50th Anniversary, the IBCA had media and coaches select the 30 most impactful people in Men's Basketball and the 30 most impactful people in Women's basketball during the last 50 years. We will be highlighting in alphabetical order one person a week from each category who our state selected for the Top 30 over the next 30 weeks, beginning on Thursday, January 20th. 

Week Twenty-Seven (7/21/22)

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Marty Simmons
Lawrenceville High School/Indiana University/University of Evansville

Marty Simmons dominated high school basketball when he played from 1979-1983 for the Lawrenceville Indians.  Simmons played on consecutive state championship teams in 1982 and 1983. During his career there he scored 2,986 points which ranks him 6th in IHSA history.  Often referred to as “The Mule” he averaged 32ppg. and 11.7 rpg. his senior season.  Marty earned Player of the Year honors for three newspapers including the Chicago Sun Times.  He also was on every all-state team possible.  Marty played at Indiana University for two seasons then transferred to Evansville where he scored 1,268 points during his junior and senior years.  During those two seasons at Evansville, he averaged over 20ppg.  He also was the team captain leading the “Aces” to a conference championship his junior season and to the second round of the NCAA Tournament his senior year.  Today, Marty is the head coach at Eastern Illinois University.

CLICK HERE for Marty Simmons's Audio Biography


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Lorene Ramsey
Illinois Central College

Lorene Ramsey was a pioneer in women’s basketball and one of the most successful.  In 1968, Ramsey joined the staff of Illinois Central College in East Peoria.  Before the passing of Title IX, Lorene started the Women’s athletic program at ICC.  Once Title IX was passed Ramsey became ICC’s Women’s Basketball Coach and what a career she had.  Her teams won 887 games while losing only 197 times. Under her leadership ICC won four NJCAA Division II Championships. In 1981 and 1988 Lorene earned the National Junior College Coach of the Year and nine times she was Regional National Junior College Coach of the Year.  Numerous times her teams won 30 or more games in a season.  Coach Ramsey is in the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the National Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame located in Knoxville, Tennessee.

CLICK HERE for Lorene Ramsey's Audio Biography