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Basketball legends live on through statue gift

Collins Robinson statue

The Collins-Robinson statue outside Redbird Arena.

Illinois State’s legendary basketball duo of head basketball coach Will Robinson and player Doug Collins ’73 have been immortalized with a campus statue unveiled this fall.

Created by Lou Cella ’85, the statue was a gift from Collins’ friend Don Franke ’71, his wife Belinda, son Matt ’04, and daughter Keisha ’04. “I’ve always wanted to do something for Doug, but I didn’t know what,” said Franke, who owns a Central Illinois construction company.

A friend of Collins while a student, Franke attended athletic events and practiced with the team. He knew and respected Robinson, who was the nation’s first NCAA Division I African-American men’s basketball coach.

Franke followed Collins’ career into the NBA years as a player and coach, and in his present position as an analyst with TNT Sportscasting. Their families remain close.

The bronze statue, which stands on a four-foot granite pedestal outside Redbird Arena, was created by Cella at the Rotblatt Amrany Fine Art Studio. Look for it when attending basketball games this season.

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Comments

Oh, great post with the nice statue!

What a wonderful statue!

Thanks for the links too, I pretty much enjoyed it.