Hall of Fame Inductee - Jack Gower
Jack Gower owns the distinction of being the only person to play in both
the first televised basketball state championship game in Illinois and
the first televised NCAA men’s basketball
championship game. As a senior at Quincy High in 1952, Gower helped the
Devils reach the state tournament, averaging 9.3 points as Quincy won 14
straight games before facing Hebron in the championship game. Played at
the University of Illinois’ Huff Gym and televised throughout the
state, the Green Giants beat the Blue Devils 64-59 in overtime.
Gower, who was also a member of Quincy’s 29-4 third-place team in 1951,
was named to the all-tournament team by the Champaign News-Gazette. He
scored 11 points in the championship
and 48 points in the four games at the state tournament. He finished his
career with 321 career points.
Gower continued his career at Bradley University, earning three varsity
letters and participating in the 1954 NCAA Tournament championship game
against LaSalle. It was the first
nationally televised NCAA championship game, with LaSalle
winning 92-76 in Kansas City, Mo. Gower started the next season
when the Braves reached the NCAA Tournament’s regional
championship, and as a senior, he was co-captain and the
team’s second leading scorer and rebounder.
Gower was inducted into the Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame
along with the rest of the 1954 team and is a member of the
Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Return to the Hall of Fame Inductee Page.