TAYLORVILLE HIGH SCHOOL
SPORTS HALL OF FAME PORTRAIT

RON BONTEMPS 

    
Ron Bontemps co-captained the undefeated 1944 Illinois State Championship Tornadoes and went on to one of the most stellar basketball playing careers of any Taylorville graduate. Bontemps, played on the varsity for four years, 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1944, playing a reserve role as a freshman and a sophomore and then
 leading 
the Tornadoes his junior and senior year. He capped that final year by  scoring 613 points, fourth highest in the state, in 43 games and gaining First Team  All- State Honors. He was the leading scorer, with 18 points, in the state  championship game, and was selected to the All- State Tournament First Team.  Earlier in the year he was a first team selection to the Centralia Tournament All-  Tournament Team.

    After graduation, Bontemps ended up with coach Stanley at Beloit college from 1949 through 1951. While at Beloit, he set a school record 57 points in a single game and was selected to the Midwest Conference All- Star Team all three years he played. He finished his career at Beloit with 1,744 points. He concluded his collegiate career by starring in the N.A.I.B. All- Star game.
    Beginning in 1952, Bontemps joined the Caterpillar organization and during a time when professional basketball was still in its, infancy, played A.A.U. Basketball against some of the best teams in the country. Bontemps lead Caterpiller to the National Championship in 1952, 1953 and 1954.

    During the 1952 season, Bontemps, was selected to play for the United States Olympic team in the Helsinki Olympics. He, along with his teammates, collected the Gold Medal for finishing first, in what was also considered the World Championship.
    
    Following this accomplishment, he was named A.A.U. All- American in 1953. Then in 1954, the highest individual award in amateur basketball was bestowed on Bontemps as he was named 'National Outstanding Amateur Basketball Player" for 1954.