On, December 1, 2017, Illini Central High School honored it’s 2013 IHSA Class 1A Boys Basketball State Championship team
. The Illini Central community also paid tribute to since retired head coach John Giesler, who will be inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame this spring.
In late July, Coach Giesler was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has spent his time since trying to raise awareness about this type of cancer. During this time, Coach Giesler has been rallying support through the help of family, friends and the community to help make a difference in the lives of others.
In September, Coach Giesler and his family hosted a golf outing that raised $13,000 dollars, all of which went directly to Pancreatic Cancer Research. Each of the past two months, he has led efforts to help others that are facing a fight with cancer. Proceeds ($2100) from the game on December 1 went to toward the postgraduate Illini Central Scholarship created in honor of Coach Giesler.
Ahead of December 1 contest, Coach Giesler commented on what the occasion meant to him:
“I am really looking forward to a great evening honoring this special group of young men who set a very high goal and achieved it through their determination and hard work. It was an honor to have been able to coach them during their State Championship run. It is an honor to have this scholarship established in my name to help young men who played basketball at Illini Central. I received so much from being a part of the Cougar basketball program over the years that I am very happy to be associated with something that allows me to pay it forward. My hope is that this scholarship will allow a young man the chance to move forward after they graduate from high school to achieve their goals in life. It is very humbling to have the school establish this scholarship in my name. Thanks to everyone for their support of this effort! We are IC! Go Cougars!”