Quincy’s Jackson among latest class of inductees into WIU Hall of Fame


Quincy High School Hall of Fame basketball player Monzel Jackson will be inducted into the Western Illinois University Hall of Fame in October. | Photo courtesy QHS Hall of Fame

MACOMB, Ill. — A Quincy High School Hall of Fame basketball player’s name is being added to the pantheon of Western Illinois University’s greatest athletes.

Monzel Jackson, a 1949 QHS graduate, will be inducted posthumously into the WIU Hall of Fame this fall. Jackson is one of four individuals and one team to comprise the Leathernecks’ latest class of Hall of Famers. The induction celebration will take place Oct. 18-19.

Jackson played basketball at WIU from 1950-52 and his name is prominent in the record books as one of the program’s greatest rebounders. During the 1951-52 season, Jackson averaged a record 22.2 rebounds per game as he hauled in 467 rebounds, which still ranks second in program history.

He was named WIU’s most valuable player as a sophomore and a junior and also played with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1951.

A two-year starter at QHS, Jackson scored 461 points during the 1948-49 season. He scored 37 points against Quincy Notre Dame, which was then a single-game school record. He was named to the Chicago Daily News all-state first team. Jackson was also a three-year letterman in track, participating in both the high jump and long jump.

Jackson died in Quincy on July 21, 2019.

He will be joined in the WIU Hall of Fame class by Rich Lafnitzegger, Frisman Jackson, Jennifer Alexander and the 1978 women’s field hockey team.

“This year’s Hall of Fame class is truly a remarkable group, from the games they won, the records they set — and still hold — their careers have withstood the test of time,” WIU director of athletics Paul A. Bubb said in a press release. “We have so many that are worthy of recognition, which tells me that every class we induct has truly distinguished themselves as members of our Athletics Hall of Fame.”

Here is a look at the rest of the inductees:

• Lafnitzegger wrestled for the Leathernecks from 1974-78. He was a three-time national qualifier, finishing third in 1977-78 when he earned All-American status at 167 pounds. Lafnitzegger also earned All-Illinois honors twice during his career and finished his career with a record of 50-17-3.

• Jackson played wide receiver for the Leathernecks from 2000-2001. He is the program leader in career yards per catch (20.0), and his 1,041 receiving yards during the 2001 season rank third all-time. Against Indiana State in 2001, Jackson had 286 receiving yards, the second most in a game in program history. Jackson played professionally for the Cleveland Browns from 2002-2006.

• Alexander played volleyball at WIU from 2003-06 and became the all-time digs leader (2,343). She has four of the program’s top 10 all-time single-season dig records, including the record with 663 in 2004. Alexander’s 6.2 digs per set in 2004 remain the highest of all-time. She also has the most digs in a match, notching 41 three times in her career. She was a four-time all-conference selection and the Summit League Defensive Player of the Year in 2005.

• The 1978 women’s field hockey team finished a program-best 15-4-1 after starting the season with 13 consecutive wins. The team scored 40 goals on the season and posted 13 shutouts. The team featured standout players such as forward Cheryl Novak, the all-time leading scorer, and Vicki Sama, the stingiest goalkeeper in program history who allowed just eight goals that season.

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