By Evan Powell
“Sort of unbelievable, not in my wildest dreams…when I first heard about this, I said you got to be kidding. Me, Hall of Fame,” said Bill Lemon, a member of Quincy University’s 1954-55 men’s basketball team.
The 1954-55 QU men’s basketball team and former QU women’s soccer head coach Bill Postiglione were inducted into the Hall of Fame over the weekend.
The event was held in the Hall of Fame Room in the Health and Fitness Center on Saturday.
“With all the adversity, we won anyways. Even against schools that had rosters full of white players,” Lemon said.
The men’s basketball team boasted a 17-9 record and made it to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City, Missouri.
Members of the 1954-55 team that were in attendance included Lemon, Dick Thompson, Edsel Bester and Sid Tucker. The daughter of late head coach Harry Forrester, Rita Grider, was also at the event.
“The 1954-55 team is an extraordinary example of how the passage of time revealed the true historical significance,” Grider said in her induction speech.
The leadership Forrester used when coaching these young men was nothing short of incredible.
The team consisted of ten players. Only two were upperclassmen, one a senior and one a junior.
In the 1950s, few schools had black players on their rosters, but that didn’t stop Coach Forrester from playing these men. Other than the rosters of historically black universities, Quincy College might have been the first college basketball team ever to play white and black players together.
Another QU legend, Postiglione, was inducted shortly after the 1954-55 basketball team.
He was the very first women’s soccer coach in program history. He finished his career with a 181-171-28 record over 23 seasons from 1983 to 2005.
He was able to lead his Lady Hawks team to back-to-back NCAA Division II Final Four games.
Postiglione created a national power in Quincy, and his legacy carries on with the team, which remains a powerhouse in the GLVC.