Once There Were Giants

  • Once There Were Giants

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Once There Were Giants
How Tiny Hebron Won the Illinois High School Basketball Championship and the Hearts of Fans Forever

By Scott Johnson and Julie Kistler. Published in 2002. Second Edition.

Everyone loves a story about a little guy overcoming the odds and winning it big. Maybe that's why Hebron High School's rise to the state championship in 1952 struck a chord with so many fans across the state and the nation. But no victory comes without sacrifice, without hard work, without a little drama.

The Hebron story mixes talented twins, spurred on by a pro-athlete older brother; a reed-thin, 6-10½ center, coming late to basketball but getting better with every game; two hot-handed outside shooters overcoming challenges of their own; and a "Little Napoleon" of a coach, utterly focused on putting together just the right ingredients to win a state championship and more importantly, to best his mentor. Desire, devotion, dedication—it all came together for the Green Giants in 1952.

They did what it took.

They won it all.

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