Former Greenville Junior High boys basketball coach James Burke is being honored by a state organization.
Burke has been elected into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a Friend of Basketball. He was a junior high coach and created the Greenville Junior High 8th Grade Boys Basketball Tournament, which continues today.
His son, Terry, felt his father deserved to be recognized for his basketball career. The effort has been underway since February. The tournament has continued for over 70 years and Burke said he thought recognition was due.
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James Burke was a veteran of World War II and then became a fixture at Greenville Junior High. He started in 1948, the same year he started the tournament. He coached for 20 years.
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Burke was a social studies and physical education teacher and finished his education career as Greenville Junior High principal, retiring in 1984.
Mr. Burke passed away in November of 1997 and the next year the tournament was named in his honor.
Burke’s wife, Maxine still lives in Greenville.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held May 4 at Redbird Arena in Bloomington.