Sunderlage, Erickson Join List of Honored Jerseys

Jerseys to be Unveiled Sept. 13 at A Night of Legends Alumni Game

Don Sunderlage was named Big Ten MVP in 1951.

Sept. 2, 2008

Champaign, Ill. - Big Ten Player of the Year Don Sunderlage and All-American Bill Erickson are the next two Fighting Illini to be recognized by having their jerseys permanently displayed at Assembly Hall.

The University of Illinois is honoring its most decorated basketball players in school history by hanging a banner with their name and number from the roof of the Assembly Hall. A total of 20 men's players have earned a spot on this distinguished list and their jerseys will be unveiled for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 13, at A Night of Legends alumni basketball game, scheduled for 7 p.m.

Tickets for the alumni game are $15 each and are on sale online at or through the UI Athletics Ticket Office by phone at 217-333-3470 or 1-866-ILLINI-1 or in person at the Assembly Hall North Box Office.

Sunderlage won the Chicago Tribune Silver Basketball Trophy as Big Ten MVP in 1951. He helped lead the Illini to the 1951 Big Ten championship and NCAA Final Four. Sunderlage led the conference in scoring during his senior season and finished his career as the UI's all-time scoring leader with 777 points. The 1951 University of Illinois Athlete of the Year, Sunderlage was a first-round NBA draft pick and 1954 All-Star.

Erickson earned consensus second-team All-America honors and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 1949, helping lead Illinois to a Big Ten championship and the school's first NCAA Final Four appearance. He was named team captain as a senior in 1950, earning honorable mention All-America accolades.

Sunderlage and Erickson join the previously announced names of Deron Williams (2003-05), Dee Brown (2003-06), Luther Head (2002-05), Ray Woods (1915-17), Chuck Carney (1920-22), Bill Hapac (1938-40), Dike Eddleman (1947-49), Walt Kirk (1944-45, 47), Bruce Douglas (1983-96), Jim Dawson (1965-67) and Jerry Colangelo (1960-62) to have their jerseys hung at Assembly Hall. The remaining seven players to be honored will be released leading up to the reunion game.

Players selected to have their jerseys hung at the Assembly Hall must have achieved one of the following criteria: 1) National Player of the Year; 2) Enshrined in the National Basketball Hall of Fame; 3) U.S. Olympian; 4) Big Ten Player of the Year; 5) Consensus First- or Second-Team All-American.

Bill Erickson



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