Bill Hapac

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Bill Hapac
Bill Hapac from the 1940 Illio.jpg
Bill Hapac c. 1940 from the Illio
Personal information
Born (1918-01-26)January 26, 1918
Chicago, Illinois
Died March 9, 1967(1967-03-09) (aged 49)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Career information
High school J. Sterling Morton
(Chicago, Illinois)
College Illinois (1937–1940)
Playing career 1940–1948
Position Guard / Forward
Number 19
Career history
1940–1941 Chicago Bruins
1945–1946 Chicago American Gears
1946–1947 Anderson Duffy Packers
1947–1948 Oshkosh All-Stars
Career highlights and awards
  • All-NBL Second Team (1941)
  • Consensus first-team All-American (1940)
  • First-team All-Big Ten (1940)
  • Univ. of Illinois Athlete of the Year (1940)

William J. "Wild Bill" Hapac (January 26, 1918 – March 9, 1967) was the first consensus All-American to play for the University of Illinois men's basketball team when he garnered the recognition during his senior season of 1939–40. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Hapac was an all-state player for J. Sterling Morton High School East in 1935.

Hapac would star for the Fighting Illini before playing in the National Basketball League from 1940 to 1948. He set a then-unheard of Big Ten Conference single game scoring record of 34 points against Minnesota on February 10, 1940. His senior year, he was honored as a Consensus NCAA First Team All-American and was the first ever recipient of the University of Illinois' Athlete of the Year award. In addition to basketball, Hapac also lettered for three years while playing for the school's baseball team.

Hapac played professionally for the Chicago Bruins.


  1. "Woods, Carney and Hapac Join List of Honored Jerseys". University of Illinois. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  2. "Phillip, Kerr and Fletcher Next on List of Honored Jerseys". University of Illinois. 9 September 2008. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  3. "IHSA Boys All-State Players". Illinois High School Association. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  4. "Basketball Heroes". Archived from the original on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  5. "Known Deceased Basketball Individuals". The Association for Professional Basketball Research. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 

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