McHistory: The 1914 McLean County Basketball Champions | WGLT

McHistory: The 1914 McLean County Basketball Champions

Feb 15, 2021

The McLean County Basketball Tournament is one of the longest running basketball tournaments in the state of Illinois.

During this episode of McHistory, you'll hear about the 1914 championship team from Bellflower Township, and two brothers from the well-known Ward Family who were a major piece.

Jesse Robert Ward was born enslaved, and when he gained his freedom he became a tenant farmer in Bellflower. He and his wife, Mary, would have 12 children, with two of the brothers would becoming vital pieces for the championship team. The Bellflower team would go on to defeat all the surrounding high schools in McLean County with the help of Jesse Ward Jr. and Joe Ward.

This episode of McHistory was produced by WGLT’s Ariele Jones, featuring Bill Kemp and Norris Porter of the McLean County Museum of History.

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