May 6, 2015
Cyclones basketball game announcer says farewell to Moraine
You’d think that octogenarian Bill Antonion would be taking it
easy at this stage of life. Instead, he’s saying goodbye to his
basketball game announcing duties at Moraine Valley after 15
years and pursuing bigger ventures at Governors State
“I’ve had a heck of a lot of fun. I’ve met a lot of nice
coaches, staff and athletes over the years. It’s been a great
experience,” said Antonion, who turned 86 in January. “I’m not
your typical announcer. I go beyond just names, and I suppose
that’s okay. I do it my way. I want to put a little excitement
into it so I’ll differ my terminology like ‘There’s a hit from
the left wing,’ or ‘A drive to hoop by so-and-so.’ Obviously
it’s well received. I really love what I do, and I think it
Antonion has called all the home Moraine Valley basketball games
since 2000. Early on when athletic director Bill Finn coached
the men’s team, Antonion would tag along on away games. Over the
years he has announced NJCAA Region IV tournaments, worked area
high school tournaments, been asked to announce baseball games,
and was asked to announce at Governors State. But for most of
his career, he wasn’t in the gym or on the field.
Growing up in the Woodlawn area and attending Hyde Park High
School, Antonion met his future wife, Nancy, first at age 12
before they reconnected at a Name’s Day party eight years later. He served in
the Korean War and returned home in 1953, the same year he
married Nancy. He never participated in organized sports in high
school because he worked to support his family, but he played in
the neighborhood. His love of sports didn’t become part of his
career until the 1990s.
When he first got married, Antonion worked at Hi-Lo Foods, then
sold insurance at Metropolitan Insurance and State Farm. He had
a family (four children) before retiring in 1995 and took some
journalism and acting classes at Prairie State College. While in
school he wrote for the college newspaper. After writing about
someone in their Athletics Department, he took charge of the
intramural basketball program before taking it upon himself to
announce the women’s basketball games.
From there, Antonion became a stringer for the Star newspapers,
covering high school sports for 4.5 years—something he loved. A
fervid advocate of community college sports, he finagled his way
into writing about those teams. “I discovered 60 percent of the
Prairie State and Moraine Valley student athletes were local.
The paper compromised and gave me a column to cover South
Suburban College, Prairie State, Moraine Valley, Trinity
Christian College, and Saint Xavier University. It was called
the College Desk,” he said.
While working on a story at Moraine Valley, Antonion talked with
Finn who related his trouble finding an announcer for games.
Antonion didn’t hesitate to step up. Doing things his way, he
put his all into the work. “It’s like calling a game on TV or
radio. On a scale of one to 10, I’ll do six, where a regular PA
announcer would do 1,” he explained.
He still has records from every Cyclone team he’s worked with
including all Region IV tournaments. Nancy, his oldest daughter
and a couple of grandsons have attended his games over the
years. They’ve all been big supporters. “Nancy’s always backed
me, even today. She says, ‘You enjoy it, keep doing it. It’s
good for you.’ She’s never been negative,” he said.
Although he still has octogenarian aches, he still works out at
the gym several times a week in addition to his announcing
duties. And he doesn’t plan on stopping. “I’m like a 1960
Cadillac—looks good on the outside and inside, shot. All my good
friends are gone, and I’m a survivor. I ask, ‘Why am I still
around?’ Maybe I have more to get done. I’m still announcing,”
he said. “The only way you’ll get rid of me is if I die with a
mic in my hand.”
Antonion will keep on announcing more in depth at Governors
State but will miss Moraine Valley. “Being the public address
announcer at Moraine Valley has been rewarding and a great
experience. I had the pleasure of being associated with an
outstanding group of associates and friends who have been most
helpful during my time at the college. The added bonus over the
years has been knowing the athletic directors, coaches and even
the officials, in addition to viewing the many student athletes
on the court,” he said. “And hey, I’ll always be a Cyclone.”
March 11, 2015
Cyclones basketball ends, spring sports begin
The Cyclones are transitioning from winter to spring. Basketball
ended with championships, and the spring teams are facing some
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams finished their
seasons in the NJCAA Region IV playoffs with each earning a
championship in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference. The
women’s team shared the title with Oakton Community College.
Both the softball and baseball teams are in spring training this
week. The men are in Harrison, Arkansas, while the women are in
St. Louis, Missouri.
Both the baseball and men’s tennis teams have new coaches this
year—Mike Kane and Robert Gates, respectively.
Throughout the spring season, some of the home games/matches
will be broadcast live online. Stay tuned for those dates.
January 22, 2015
Watch the Cyclones live from home
Fire up the computers tonight to watch the women’s and men’s
basketball games streamed live.
Tonight the Cyclones face conference rival Morton College. If
you can’t make the game, then watch them through these links:
Women’s game starts at 5:15 p.m.:
Men’s game starts at 7 p.m.:
January 18, 2015
Cyclones celebrate All-Decade Team
They came from around Illinois. There was even one out-of-stater
and two who had to coach a basketball game later that night, but
nearly 40 Cyclone men's basketball alumni and former coaches flocked to the
Cyclone Center Jan. 17 to celebrate the college’s All-Decade
At halftime of the men’s basketball game that night, Cyclones
athletic director Bill Finn announced the men’s basketball
All-Decade Team, which included players from 1979 to 2010.
Eighty-two players made the list comprised by Finn, who coached
the men’s team for 22 years. With the assistance of Skip Dorn,
his assistant coach during his tenure, he announced all the
alumni (some by game nicknames) in attendance and had them line
the court while praising the basketball program.
“I’m honoring the top players, and I’m proud of all of you. Over
the years we’ve won over 700 victories, had four Final Fours and
a runners-up appearance. We’re known as a traditional national
power. I know I was tough to play for, but it’s nice to see you
guys now, all grown up,” Finn said at the brief ceremony. “We
loved the G Building, but we love this new building. It’s the
college you helped build. We’ve had good times and bad times.
After a group photo, all the alumni and their families
congregated and reconnected at a reception.
December 19, 2014
ESPN visiting campus for high school basketball showcase
ESPN is coming to campus tonight to broadcast (on ESPN2) a
special basketball game in our gym: 2014 IHSA region champion
St. Rita High School vs. top-ranked Simeon High School. The
matchup begins at 5:30 p.m. in our Health, Fitness & Recreation
Center (Building H). Watch the game on TV or head to the gym for
live action. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.
Gender Equity Statement
Moraine Valley Community College is committed to providing, fair and equitable
treatment of both male and female student-athletes. The goals and practices of
the intercollegiate athletic program are to:
- Sponsor intercollegiate competitive sports in accordance
with the rules and guidelines of the National Junior College
Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the Illinois Skyway
Collegiate Conference (ISCC).
- Foster broad programs of men's and women's
intercollegiate athletics that are consistent with the
educational objectives of Moraine Valley Community College.
- Encourage excellence in performance by all (male and
female) participants in intercollegiate athletics, as well
as stimulate academic achievement through the maintenance of
high standards of scholarship.
- Maintain and increase balanced athletic program
offerings for both men and women as students, budgets and
community interests will allow.