MT. VERNON — Two Mt. Vernon High School basketball prep stars will be formally recognized Thursday when the Dawson Park basketball courts are dedicated.
The ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at the park located at 1300 S. Seventh St.
The basketball courts will formally be named the Moore/Sanders basketball courts in honor of Walter Moore and Jamar Sanders.
Mt. Vernon Parks and Recreation Department started renovations at Dawson Park a little over a year ago, following pleas from members in the community.
The renovations started with new rest rooms, followed by creating a base for a parking lot, followed by the basketball court renovations.
McCarthy Contractors volunteered their services for much of the renovation work.
Lights for the basketball courts were completed early this spring; a new picnic shelter was also erected, according to George Bryant, facilities director for the parks department.
“I believe the dedication of the new basketball courts will spark a renewed interest in the future development of Dawson Park,” Bryant said.
“At the dedication program, we are also going to be introducing members of a Dawson Park committee that will help with volunteer programming and future improvements,” he added.
Walter Moore was a three-time All-State selection, second leading scorer on the 1949 and 1950 state championship team that won 46 games in a row. He was also the first African-American basketball player for MVTHS and the University of Illinois. He played on the 1952 Illini squad that won the Big Ten championship.
Moore taught and coached at Carbondale Central, Attucks and Macomb high schools.
Sanders is the all-time second-leading scorer at MVTHS with 1,934 points. He led the Rams in scoring all four seasons he played. Sanders finished his college career playing for the University of Missouri—St. Louis and played for two professional teams while touring Europe.
Moore and Sanders are both in the MVTHS Hall of Fame.