Gym Added: Pekin HS’s Hawkins Gym

—-The center court scoreboard at Pekin High School’s Hawkins gym, during the Pekin Holiday Tournament, on Dec. 27, 2021. (photo by Vincent D. Johnson)

Pekin’s Hawkins Gym is the latest addition in the search for Illinois’ Best High School Gyms

Holiday tournaments are the best, and not just because fans can see so many teams over the course of a few days, but also because you can skip around and see some of the great high school basketball venues in the state and be almost guaranteed a game will be going on any time between 10am and 10pm.

Luckily for me, one of my tournament stops on my winter break tour of central and southern Illinois gyms was Pekin High School and while unfortunate for the tournament I was able to photograph a fully empty Hawkins Gym due to a couple of Covid game cancelations. It also had me hanging around a little longer for a an actual game, which happened to be the host Dragons taking on Lake Zurich.

Scroll down for some more photos from that game, as well as links to the complete game action photos from Lake Zurich vs Pekin and the Pekin High School Hawkins Gym page.

—The Pekin H.S. Hawkins gym sits empty in between games during the Pekin Holiday Tournament, on Dec. 27, 2021. (photo by Vincent D. Johnson)

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Illinois’ Best High School Gyms updates (pick one)
Tip off at Pekin H.S. Hawkins gym during the Pekin Holiday Tournament, featuring an Illinois varsity high school boys basketball game between the Bears of Lake Zurich and the Dragons of Pekin, on Dec. 27, 2021. (photo by Vincent D. Johnson)
—-Pekin H.S. Hawkins Gym has the look and feel of a small college facility, during the Pekin Holiday Tournament, featuring an Illinois varsity high school boys basketball game between the Bears of Lake Zurich and the Dragons of Pekin, on Dec. 27, 2021. (photo by Vincent D. Johnson)

TRIVIA: Although Lake Zurich High School’s gym is not on the list of potential best gyms for the book, the boys varsity has made an appearance twice now. Once at New Trier for the last game ever at Gates Gym and here at the Pekin Tournament.


View this list of best high school gyms in Illinois | See the gallery of other high school gyms