Inducted September 22, 1979
Jack Israel spent his first two college years at the University of Missouri and transferred back to his native Springfield and SMS in time for his junior season. He averaged 14.1 points a game his junior year for the Bears as SMS turned in a 22-2 mark and gained the conference title at 9-1. The Bruins won their first 19 games before dropping a conference decision at Kirksville. SMS claimed the title of the NCAA regional at SMS but lost 63-58 in the national quarterfinals at Evansville to the University of South Dakota. Israel also averaged 7.6 rebounds a game in collecting all-conference honors. His senior year he was an SMS co-captain and the Bears again had a banner campaign, winning 23 games while losing just three. The Bears again captured the conference title and hosted and won an NCAA regional with victories over Abilene Christian and Centenary. A last-second jump shot by Israel gave SMS a 76-74 win over Hope College in the national quarterfinals and the Bears went on to whip Los Angeles State 72-59 before winding up as the NCAA runnerup with a loss to host Evansville in the title game. Israel landed a spot on national all-tourney team and gained All-American third team honors from United Press International. He finished the year with a 15.7 scoring average and closed out his two SMS campaigns with 732 points and 353 rebounds. His two SMS seasons were at the heart of the Bears’ school record string of 40 consecutive wins in McDonald Arena and Israel has the distinction of having played his entire career without having been in a losing home game.