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Honoring Mr. Basketball

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STREET SIGN

He won the title of Mr. Basketball in the 1990s.

Howard Nathan Junior was a legendary basketball player that got his start at Manual High School in Peoria.

All Thursday the city honored him.

The City of Peoria used all of Thursday to celebrate the legacy of Howard Nathan.

It started at the corner of Proctor and Madison Park with a new honorary street sign.

No one is prouder than his old coach.

"My favorite memory is when he got mad at me and walked off the floor. I gave him 10 seconds to get back on there or get out the back door. Of course I was hoping he would get back on the floor and he did," said Dick Van Scyoc.

After that he didn't leave the court.

Howard moved up in his career all the way to the NBA.

Local sports guru, Lee Hall, has decades of basketball broadcasting and doing play-by-play.

He said of all the athletes he's covered, Howard was special.

"There is a picture of Howard that sums him up to a 'T'. I mean he was determined, relentless. The talent was there, yes, but the inner Howard that would not settle for losing, would not ever give up. He would battle you," said Hall.

Hall added that Howard Nathan set the stage for many players that came up behind him.

"Howard's legacy to me is best summed up by what other players say about him. When you talk to the Derrick Booths, the Shaun Livingstons, the Jamere Jacksons, guys that went on to play collegiality , or in the NBA, they looked up to Howard," said Hall.

Coach Dick Van Scyoc and Lee Hall both wish Howard was here to see his celebration.

Alex Menke

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