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Heldman Trophy

The Matt Heldman Golf Tournament was run annually from 2000 through 2010 to honor and remember Matt Heldman.  Matt was a Gamma Zeta ATO ’98 and Illini basketball player who died tragically shortly after graduation in an automobile accident.  Funds raised at the tournament were used to establish the Matt Heldman Scholarship given to deserving Gamma Zeta undergrads each year.

A giant trophy is displayed at the base of the stairs at our chapter house recognizing the winners of the tournament each year.
Funds raised at the Heldman Golf Tournament were used to establish the Matt Heldman Scholarship.  The Heldman fund is currently endowed at over $80,000 and awards nearly $4,000 in scholarships each year to deserving Gamma Zeta undergraduate students.

Heldman Gold Tournament Winners
1st – 2000 – Balmoral Woods – Dan Tarpey, Brian Eichenberger, Keith Beaudoin, Jay
2nd – 2001 – Balmoral Woods – Matt Menna, Q Bailey, Chad Wanless, Sean McGrath
3rd – 2002 – Glenwoodie – Doug Ausnehmer, B.W. Bruce, Pat Brankin, Andy Small
4th – 2003 –  Chevy Chase – Andy Small, B.W. Bruce, Pat Brankin, Doug
5th – 2004 – Big Run – ?
6th – 2005 – Ruffled Feathers – ?
7th – 2006 – Prairie Landing – Ryan McNaughton, Tyson Brill, Jeff Siok,
Shawn Mayernick
8th – 2007 – Big Run – Ryan McNaughton, Tyson Brill, Jeff Siok,
Shawn Mayernick
9th – 2008 – Highland Park or Chevy Chase – Mike Boettcher, Patrick Olson, Luke Carlson, Dante Ciccone
10th – 2009 – Highland Park – Ryan McNaughton, Tyson Brill, Jeff Siok, Shawn Mayernick
11th – 2010 – Chevy Chase – ? 12th – 2011 – combined with Swedo 13th – 2015 – Carillon Golf Course – Top ATO Foursome at RGSwedo event – John Bucklar 96, Brian Grady, Andy Clark, and Chip Aubry 14th – 2016 – 2016 – Carillon Golf Course – Top ATO Foursome at RGSwedo event – Chris Ernst ‘97, Paul Wilkowski ‘04, Francis Holleweck, and Joe DiGiovanni  

If you have knowledge of the missing information above, please contact Kevin Finke.


About Matt Heldman ’98…

Matt Heldman 1998 “Matto” Illini Basketball Hustle Award Matt Heldman, who graduated from Commerce in 1998 with a BS in business administration, achieved fame as a Fighting Illini basketball star. A point guard who wore the Number 21 jersey, he excelled at assists, free-throw percentages, and three-point scores, and was instrumental in leading the Illini in 1998 to their first Big Ten title in fourteen years. The records for both the seventh- and eighth-best single-season totals for three-point shots in the university’s history belong to Heldman, who was playfully called “Otis” by his teammates because he had his father’s name tattooed on his arm. At the time of his death, he had spent a year playing professional basketball in Finland and Greece, and had also toured with Athletes in Action, a Christian traveling team.    

While a student at Commerce, he also worked at the Chicago Board of Trade during summer intersession. The U of I men’s basketball team gives the “Matto” award in honor of former Illini player, Matt Heldman. The Illini give the award out at the end of the year to the player with the most MATTO points – “play-hard” statistics. These stats keep track of how hard and aggressive they are playing because of the way that Matt played.