The Illio, 1947
February 25, 1923|
|Died||February 16, 2012(aged 88)|
|Listed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Listed weight||195 lb (88 kg)|
|High school||Clinton (Clinton, Illinois)|
|College||Illinois (1941–1943, 1946–1947)|
|NBA draft||1947 / Round: -- / Pick: --|
|Selected by the Chicago Stags|
|Position||Guard / Forward|
|1949–1952||Tri-Cities Blackhawks / Milwaukee Hawks|
|Career BAA and NBA statistics|
|Points||1,437 (8.3 ppg)|
|Rebounds||103 (2.9 rpg)|
|Assists||399 (2.3 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Ellis Eugene "Gene" Vance (February 25, 1923 – February 16, 2012) was an American professional basketball player for the NBA's Chicago Stags and a collegiate athlete for the University of Illinois Fighting Illini basketball team. He was most famous for leading Illinois as a member of the famed "Whiz Kids" of the 1940s. He was drafted into the NBA in 1948, and played for the Chicago Stags, the Tri-Cities Blackhawks and the Milwaukee Hawks. He and the other Whiz Kids, Andy Phillip, Art Mathisen, Ken Menke, and Jack Smiley, are regarded as some of Illinois' all-time greats, but only he and Phillip are on the team's all-century team. Vance and his Whiz Kids teammates left basketball to serve in World War II in 1943. He later served as the university's athletic director, from 1967 to 1972. Vance was elected to the "Illini Men's Basketball All-Century Team" in 2004.
On December 18, 2006, the post office in his hometown of Clinton was named the Gene Vance Post Office in his honor.
Vance was married to Grace Hoberg from 1943 until her death from stomach cancer in 1980; Vance was also married to Janann Duffy and had four children: Jon, Jim, Sue, and Martha ("Marty").
He died on February 16, 2012, at age 88.
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