Ivan Stone and Brad Halverson share a passion for basketball.
They became friends on the court playing together in Caterpillar’s employee basketball league every Thursday night.
Both work in the Peoria area. Ivan is a painter at Caterpillar’s East Peoria track-type tractor facility and Brad is a group president and CFO of Caterpillar.
Ivan looked up Brad after playing against him in a game. “I wanted to know who this guy was throwing bows and shooting us out!” Ivan said when he realized who Brad was, he played “even harder.”
Brad looked up Ivan, too. Brad’s a big fan of the Illinois High School Association’s (IHSA) boys basketball tournament and thought Ivan looked familiar. Turned out Ivan was an all-state player and part of Peoria High School’s 1983 state runner-up team.
“We had five seniors on the team, and we said in our freshmen year we were going to state,” Ivan says. “It was an amazing experience – we had seen the IHSA tournament on TV for years. We were in awe when we walked onto the court…it was unbelievable.”
Brad asked if he was nervous. “Once I hit that first shot, all the nerves were gone,” recalls Ivan.
“I see the kids that come here and I’m sure, even later in life, they’ll realize how special it is to get here,” says Brad on the Carver Arena court where the tournament is played. “It’s nice for the community.”
Ivan and Brad may be opponents on the court in the Caterpillar basketball league (they even made time to shoot hoops after their conversation about basketball), but off the court they band together every year when volunteering to support the kids at IHSA.
Ivan is also heavily involved with Illini Legacy, a grassroots community basketball program that focuses on youth development and education through athletics.
The IHSA boys basketball tournament has been a hallmark of the Peoria community since 1996, and Brad is proud to lead Caterpillar’s sponsorship of the tournament.
Watch the full video and read more at caterpillar.com/ourhome.