Women’s College Basketball: St. Xavier unveils Bob Hallberg Court
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media November 13, 2013 10:16PM
St. Xavier women's basketball coach Bob Hallberg is honored Wednesday by having the court at Shannon Center named after him. | Supplied photo
Updated: December 15, 2013 11:59AM
St. Xavier women’s basketball coach and athletic director Bob Hallberg has had some memorable nights in a coaching career that spans 47 years and includes 906 wins.
Wednesday night topped them all.
Hallberg had the court at the Shannon Center named after him in a ceremony before the Cougars’ season opener against Trinity International.
“I’ve had some great nights in my coaching career,” Hallberg said. “I remember wins over Illinois and Marquette and many great teams. This tops anything I’ve done. This is permanent. Those wins you forget, but this is always going to be there.
“I always thought to have a court named after you, you had to be dead. It’s great to be here and see this while I’m still alive.”
Before the game, St. Xavier president Christine Wiseman addressed the crowd saying “in the St. Xavier women’s basketball program coach Hallberg has created a national contender. In himself, he’s created another Chicago basketball legend.”
Members of the 1971 St. Xavier men’s team, Hallberg’s first team, and the 2000 women’s team — the first women’s squad in program history — unveiled the Bob Hallberg Court logos, featuring the coach’s signature.
“Hallberg is like a second father to us,” said Gary Hickerson, a member of the ’71 team.
Hallberg’s charges had little trouble in Wednesday’s game, rolling to an 87-46 win over the Trojans behind 22 points and 13 rebounds from Morgan Stuut, 17 points from Sidney Prasse and 12 points from Suzie Broski.
The Cougars, coming off an exhibition win over UIC, led 43-25 at the half and blew out Trinity in the second half.
“Coach Hallberg is a great guy,” Stuut said. “He always extends a hand for us to come talk to him about anything, not just basketball.
“It was really cool to be a part of this. Then to play the way we did on top of it was great.”
According to St. Xavier, Hallberg is just the sixth collegiate women’s basketball coach in the country to have a court named after him.
After the game, Wiseman announced the school was establishing the Bob Hallberg Scholarship to be awarded annually to a scholar-athlete.
“People will walk into this gym in the future and ask ‘Who was Bob Hallberg?’ ” Hallberg said. “He was someone who loved coaching, loved all his players and above all loved his family and friends who came out here tonight.”
Hallberg is the only coach in the history of St. Xavier women’s basketball, taking over the program before its initial season in 2000. He’s won at least 21 games in every year since and has taken the Cougars to the NAIA National Tournament the last 11 seasons.
He’s been the athletic director at St. Xavier since 2001.
Beginning his head coaching career at Kennedy High School in 1966, the Oak Lawn resident took over the St. Xavier men’s program in 1971 and also had stints coaching the men’s teams at Chicago State and UIC.
Hallberg played at Leo and Chicago Teacher’s College, which became Chicago State.
“One thing about St. Xavier is it gives you a chance to fulfill your dreams,” Hallberg said.