Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJR0014
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Full Text of HJR0014  103rd General Assembly




HJ0014LRB103 27354 MST 53726 r


2    WHEREAS, It is necessary to recognize those who are
3dedicated to the betterment of the State of Illinois and their
4communities; and
5    WHEREAS, Jack Wayne Sikma was born in Kankakee to Grace
6and Clarence Sikma; he lived in rural Wichert while growing up
7and attended St. Anne High School; and
8    WHEREAS, Jack Sikma was a guard his first three years of
9high school, before his height reached 6'10" as he entered his
10senior season; with the nickname "the Wichert Wonder", he led
11the St. Anne High School Cardinals to a fourth-place finish in
12the 1974 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Class A boys
13basketball tournament, scoring 100 points in his four
14tournament games; and
15    WHEREAS, Jack Sikma played collegiate basketball at
16Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington; he majored in
17accounting and graduated in 1977; after being heavily
18recruited by many Division I schools, he decided to enroll at
19Illinois Wesleyan, swayed by his close relationship with
20Illinois Wesleyan Coach Dennie Bridges and being able to
21immediately play as a freshman; he also liked that Illinois
22Wesleyan had several Division I schools on their schedule; and



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1    WHEREAS, At Illinois Wesleyan University, Jack Sikma was a
2three-time National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA
3Division III) All-American and averaged 27.0 points and 15.4
4rebounds as a senior; he was chosen as the College Conference
5of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Most Outstanding Player for
6three straight years; he was later inducted into the D3 Hall of
7Fame (2012) and the Small Schools Basketball Hall of Fame
8(2017) and was a member of the D3 50th & 75th All-Anniversary
9Teams; he was also a two-time Academic All-American and was
10selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-American Hall of Fame; and
11    WHEREAS, Jack Sikma remains Illinois Wesleyan University's
12all-time leading scorer and rebounder; he averaged 21.2 points
13(2,272 career points) and 13.1 rebounds (1,405 career
14rebounds); in each of his last three seasons, the Titans won
15College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Conference
16Championships and advanced to the National Association of
17Intercollegiate Athletics Tournament; and
18    WHEREAS, Jack Sikma was a first round pick, drafted with
19the eighth overall selection in the 1977 NBA draft by the
20Seattle SuperSonics; due to the relatively small size of his
21alma mater, he was considered an unknown quantity compared to
22the "established, well-publicized stars" taken before him; and



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1    WHEREAS, As a rookie in 1977-1978, Jack Sikma averaged
210.7 points and 8.3 rebounds, as the SuperSonics played in the
3NBA Finals, losing to the Washington Bullets in seven games;
4he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1978; and
5    WHEREAS, The next season, 1978-1979, Jack Sikma averaged
615.6 points and 12.4 rebounds and became an All-Star; he
7averaged a double-double of 14.8 points and 11.7 rebounds in
8the playoffs and, along with teammates Dennis Johnson, Gus
9Williams, and Paul Silas, defeated the Washington Bullets and
10Wes Unseld in an NBA Finals rematch; his final free throws were
11the last points scored by the SuperSonics to win the series;
13    WHEREAS, In 1984, Jack Sikma signed a five-year contract
14with the SuperSonics; General Manager Les Habegger remarked,
15"After careful consideration, we concluded that we could look
16far and wide and never obtain another center of his caliber.";
17he continued his All-Star caliber play but was forced to
18undergo finger surgery in 1985; and
19    WHEREAS, In 1986, Jack Sikma and Seattle's 1988 second
20round draft pick were traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in
21exchange for Alton Lister and Milwaukee's first-round draft
22picks in 1987 and 1989; Milwaukee Coach Don Nelson felt that
23with this trade he gained the missing piece of a team that had



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1frequently dominated the regular season before being exposed
2at the center position in the playoffs; Milwaukee struggled
3with injuries leading to the playoffs; and
4    WHEREAS, In the initial playoff series, Jack Sikma scored
511 points in the fourth quarter to get past Charles Barkley and
6the Philadelphia 76ers; in the next series, the Bucks were
7defeated by the Boston Celtics in a seven-game series, in
8which he was one of eight players fined for fighting or leaving
9the bench to join the brawl; and
10    WHEREAS, During the pre-season, Jack Sikma and the Bucks
11participated in the diplomatically-oriented Basketball Open, a
12round-robin, exhibition tournament that included a match with
13the U.S.S.R. national team and the Italian national team; and
14    WHEREAS, With the Bucks, Jack Sikma showed his superb
15shooting skills and made the playoffs every year for the
16remainder of his career; despite being the team's center, he
17was one of the most effective free throw shooters in the league
18and would shoot technical free throws for the team; he set a
19then-record of 51 games without a free throw miss; his
20late-career three point shooting was cited as a sign of
21league-wide adoption; and
22    WHEREAS, In 1989, Jack Sikma faced his former team in what



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1was then the longest game in the shot clock era, winning in the
2fifth overtime; he remained an effective big man into his
3final season, playing 77 regular season games and three
4playoff games, including twice grabbing 14 rebounds in a game;
6    WHEREAS, In five seasons and 392 games with the Bucks,
7Jack Sikma averaged 13.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.9
8assists, shooting 45% from the floor and 88% from the line; and
9    WHEREAS, With the SuperSonics, Jack Sikma was selected to
10seven consecutive All-Star Games, from 1979 to 1985; in nine
11seasons and 715 games with Seattle, he averaged a
12double-double of 16.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, along with 3.3
13assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.0 blocks, shooting 47% from the
14field and 83% from the line; and
15    WHEREAS, Jack Sikma was a pioneer as one of the earliest
16sharp-shooting big men, a role that would become common after
17the turn of the 21st century; as a center, his distinct shot
18and uncharacteristic accuracy allowed him to play a role
19outside of the paint; his signature Sikma-1/Sikma-2 moves were
20key to future agile centers; instructional coach Pete Newell
21wrote on Sikma's signature move in his 2008 book, "Playing
22Big" as "baseline moves for loose defenses"; towards the end
23of his career, where his lack of athleticism prevented him



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1from using his eponymous move and no other big men appeared to
2be able to replicate it, he stated that coaches were inquiring
3about the technique even though he believed it would be
4defunct upon his retirement; and
5    WHEREAS, Jack Sikma's overall strength and height,
6combined with his shooting ability and rebounding, became a
7more common prototype long after his retirement, with
8protegees like Yao Ming and Kevin Love becoming quality
9players in the NBA; on a January 2019 NBA TV segment, former
10players Chris Webber, Isiah Thomas, and Kevin McHale discussed
11his unexpected influence on modern-day basketball play with a
12segment entitled "Jack Sikma's moves still being used today"
13and focused on common moves taller players have since adopted
14to utilize their shooting and passing abilities; the "stretch
155" has since become common in the NBA, with the number of three
16pointers made by centers sharply increasing; his moves remain
17widely taught in amateur basketball, including being one of
18College Basketball Hall of Fame coach Bo Ryan's five required
19skills for his team's big men, being cited by local girls'
20basketball coaches in 2019, and being strongly touted by
21college players born well after his retirement; therefore, be



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1SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we designate the portion of
2Illinois Route 1 from Wichert Road to St. Anne as the "Honorary
3Jack Sikma Road"; and be it further
4    RESOLVED, That the Illinois Department of Transportation
5is requested to erect at suitable locations, consistent with
6State and federal regulations, appropriate plaques or signs
7giving notice of the name of the "Honorary Jack Sikma Road";
8and be it further
9    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
10presented to Jack Sikma and the Secretary of the Illinois
11Department of Transportation.