Former Illinois softball players Danielle Zymkowitz and Alex Booker are living out their professional dreams, playing for the Chicago Bandits in the NPF.
Illinois guard Kendrick Nunn is still not 100% after knee surgery more than two months ago. The sophomore is expected to be a full participant in practice next week.
Illinois sophomore Malcolm Hill is making big gains on and off the court this summer. The Belleville native has gained 21 pounds as he tries to take his game and body to the next level.
Illinois sophomore Sarah Livingston is leaving the women's basketball program after one season with the Illini. The Morton native is heading to the University of Southern California to play volleyball.
Illinois freshmen basketball players Leron Black and Michael Finke are adjusting to life as college basketball players.
Illinois basketball recruit Aaron Jordan is working hard this summer on his game and in the weight room. The 2015 shooting guard is looking to gain weight by lifting with football players.
The Illinois golf program's ten-year plan for an outdoor practice facility is finally coming together. The facility will be state of the art and used to help recruit players from around the country. "We need this," said Illinois men's golf head coach Mike Small. "The other teams in the Big Ten all have these things and other teams in the country do. We have a great indoor facility. We need a great outdoor facility." The Lauritsen/Wohlers Outdoor Practice Facility will sit adjacent to the Demirjian Indoor Practice Building. It will give the Illinois golf team the ability to practice any type of golf shot year-round. The facility was designed by former Illini and PGA professional Steve Stricker and Small and it was inspired by the Augusta National Golf Club practice facility. "Now we finally have some great donors and supporters to help us do this," Small said. "It's going to help transform the south part of campus." The facility is scheduled to open in the Fall.
Illinois Senior Associate Athletic Director Tom Michael is one of three finalists for the Eastern Illinois Athletic Director job.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Former Illinois women's track and field athlete Gia Lewis-Smallwood (1998-01) won her second straight national discus title at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships on Sunday. The Champaign, Illinois, native won her second straight national title in record form, throwing a mark of 216-5 (65.96m) at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium. The throw was six meters farther than the competition and is a new meet and facility record. “It was a great, dominating performance for Gia,” said event coach Mike Turk. “She amazes me with her continuing dedication and work ethic.” Lewis-Smallwood won her first national title at last year’s USATF Outdoor Championships after breaking the Drake Stadium record of 213-8 (65.13m). Discus Final at USATF Outdoor Championships (Top three of 17) 1. Gia Lewis-Smallwood, Nike - 216-5 (65.96m) 2. Liz Podominick, Unt. - 196-9 (59.96m) 3. Shelbi Vaughan, Texas A&M - 196-0 (59.75m)
Former Illinois basketball standout Meyers Leonard is spending the summer working on his game, trying to become a full-time player with Portland TrailBlazers.
Illini sophomore offensive lineman and president of the Illinois chapter of Uplifting Athletes led the third annual Lift for Life fundraiser at Memorial Stadium Friday night. The Illini raised more than $7,500 for acoustic neuroma, supporting former Illinois football player Andrew Carter, who was diagnosed with the condition in 2011.
The Illinois football team worked out under the lights at Memorial Stadium Friday night to raise money for Acoustic Neuroma. The event was hosted by the Illini chapter of Uplifting Athletes, an organization that raises money and awareness for rare diseases.
Former Illinois basketball standout Meyers Leonard is back in his hometown of Robinson this week to host a youth clinic.
The Illinois men's basketball team spent the last four days training with former Navy SEALs, learning about teamwork, communication and leadership.
Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman landed another in-state 2015 recruit Wednesday. Hales Franciscan senior-to-be Patrick Nelson verbally committed to play for the Illini via his twitter account. Nelson is a three-star safety.
Illinois golfer Alex Burge is using the summer to improve his game. The senior-to-be won the U of I Open in Savoy last weekend.
Illinois golf coach Mike Small just missed qualifying for his sixth straight PGA Championship, finishing T-22 at the PGA Professional National Championship in South Carolina Wednesday.
CHICAGO - No matter how far away basketball takes Dee Brown, he's always wearing his orange and blue. He keeps close tabs on the Illini - watching them on TV any chance he gets. As we finish our three-part series in-depth with Dee, he talks recruiting, his relationship with John Groce, and his dream of one day coaching at Illinois.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Some of the University of Illinois' all-time great basketball players are on board with the U of I's plan to try to land the IHSA boys and girls state basketball tournaments beginning in 2016. Players from the 1988-89 Flyin' Illini, a team made up of exclusively in-state players, have been some of the most outspoken advocates for bringing the tournament back to State Farm Center.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - If Champaign-Urbana wants to bring the IHSA state basketball tournament back to State Farm Center, it won't be easy. And it will have to be a joint effort between the local tourism departments, business leaders and most importantly the University of Illinois. The three entities will form a committee later this summer to consider bidding on both the boys and girls state finals. They will bid on at least one.
CHICAGO, Ill. - For the last decade Dee Brown has put together a successful basketball career - both in the NBA and overseas - but its what he does off the court that makes him just as proud.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The City of Champaign and the University of Illinois will work together to bring the IHSA state basketball tournament back to Champaign. The IHSA opened up the bidding Monday for the tournaments beginning with the 2015-16 season and running through the 2019-20 season. Jayne DeLuce, President and CEO of Visit Champaign County, says they're considering bidding on both the boys and girls tournaments, but will definitely bid on at least one. The U of I hosted the boys state tournament for 77 years before losing it to Peoria after the 1995 season. It has been in Peoria ever since.
CHICAGO - After seven seasons overseas playing in six different countries, former Illinois star Dee Brown is now a free agent waiting to find out which team will sign him for next season. "I moved back to Chicago maybe three weeks ago," Brown said. "Just been working out, getting ready for next season. The process in the summer is you're just working out, staying healthy, staying sharp on your game. Waiting for your agent to shop you around. For me it's always tough because you never know where you're going to end up."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois junior Aaron Cosby is hoping to make a big impact this season, now that he is eligible to play after transferring in from Seton Hall. Cosby actually spent some time in China last month playing against some of the local teams from the Far East.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (UI Release) – University of Illinois head coach Matt Bollant announced the signing of senior guard Brittany Carter to the Fighting Illini roster on Thursday. Carter will be eligible for the 2014-15 season and will have one year of eligibility remaining after graduating from Ball State in three years.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois senior-to-be Brian Campbell will be one of five current or former Illini in the field at this week's U.S. Open at Pinehurst. WCIA 3's Bret Beherns caught up with the California native as he prepares for the biggest tournament of his life.
Former Illini great Dee Brown sat down with WCIA 3 to talk about baseball, music, family and coaching. Here he talks about recruiting Chicago and why John Groce can't win without the Windy City's elite talent.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - One Illinois player was drafted in last weekend's Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, and head coach Dan Hartleb thinks he has a chances to have a long professional career. Illinois senior relief pitcher Ronnie Muck was taken by the Los Angeles Angels in the 30th round of the draft on Saturday.
JOLIET, Ill. - Former USC running back and five-star recruit Ty Isaac visited both Illinois and Michigan within the last week, and Thursday he made his decision on where he will transfer. Isaac announced via Twitter Thursday morning he is headed to Ann Arbor to become a Michigan Wolverine.
PORT ARTHUR, Tex. - Darius Paul's new head coach at Lamar State - Port Arthur, Lance Madison, says he's excited to have suspended Illini forward Darius Paul join his team, and his main goal is to help Paul improve as both a person and a player. "Darius made some poor decisions," Madison said. "And I think part of his process being here is developing some personal growth. Hopefully Darius will mature as a person and make good decisions. We want him to be successful, and we're going to try to give him all the resources to be a successful student here at Lamar State."
GURNEE, Ill. - Suspended Illinois forward Darius Paul has decided to play junior college basketball next year. Paul has signed a letter of intent with Lamar State College - Port Arthur, according to the NJCAA website. Paul was suspended for the entire upcoming Illinois season following two failed drug tests and an arrest. He has said he wants to finish his career at Illinois, and that still could be possible. After one year at a junior college, Paul could come back to Division I basketball for the 2015-2016 season.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The future looks bright for the Illinois men's golf team after they finished fifth at the NCAA Championships this week. Head coach Mike Small is already back in Champaign, and he's getting down to work trying to figure out to take his team to the next level next season. The Illini only lose one senior, and most of his starting lineup will have now played in two match play championships. Small is hoping that experience will pay dividends moving forward.
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (UI Release) – It came down to the final putt on the final hole of the final match, but No. 8 Illinois fell just short against top-seeded Stanford as the Cardinal took a 3-2 win in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships at Prairie Dunes Country Club on Tuesday. The Fighting Illini finish tied for fifth for the second time in the last four years, giving them three top-five finishes in that span when the 2013 runner-up finish is included.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - While 64 teams prepare for the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament, Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb is looking ahead to next season after his team was left on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament picture. Illinois was not selected for the field on Monday despite a strong resume.
The Illinois baseball team was not one of the 64 teams selected to participate in the NCAA tournament. The Illini finish the season with a 32-21 record.
OMAHA, Neb. (UI Release) - After the start of the Thursday's game was pushed back an hour and a half due to a rain delay, No. 3 Illinois (32-20) knocked No. 7 Ohio State (30-28) out of the Big Ten Tournament with a 6-5 victory at TD Ameritrade Park. The Illini never trailed and saw their offense come alive with every player in the lineup recording a hit for their second-highest output this season (15).
HUTCHINSON, Kan. - The Illinois men's golf team begins play at the NCAA Championships Friday afternoon in Hutchinson, Kansas. The Orange and Blue finished second in the country last year, and they are they No. 8 seed at nationals this year. They have a target on their back all year, and they know they won't surprise anyone this time around.
OMAHA, Neb. (UI Release) - No. 3 Illinois' comeback streak against No. 6 Michigan State came to an end on Wednesday in the Big Ten Tournament opener, falling 2-1 to the Spartans at TD Ameritrade Park. Starter Drasen Johnson tied his career high with 10 strikeouts, but the Illini offense left 12 men on base and only scored on a bases-loaded walk.
OMAHA, Neb. - The Illinois baseball team's postseason journey begins Wednesday in the same place where the college baseball postseason ends - at T.D. AmeriTrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, the site of the College World Series. For Illinois, it's the first round of the Big Ten Tournament Wednesday morning against Michigan State.
The Illinois golf team advances to its seventh straight NCAA finals.
The Illini men's track and field team took second place at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. The women's team placed 11th.
Illinois lost to Nebraska 7-4. The Illini will be the three-seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
The Illinois golf team advances to the NCAA finals after winning the regional behind Brian Campbell's individual title.
LINCOLN, Neb. (UI Release) - Sophomore Kevin Duchene looked back to his old form on Friday night, helping Illinois even the series with Nebraska and move back into a tie for second place in the Big Ten with a 5-1 victory. Duchene (3-1) earned his first win since March 14 and retired 14 in a row at one point while only allowing one run in six innings. Sophomore Adam Walton went 3-for-4 and belted his first career home run to put the Illini in front.
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. (UI Release) – Junior Brian Campbell opened up a six-shot lead over the field, while No. 9 and second-seeded Illinois remained one shot behind leader UAB after Friday’s second round of the NCAA Sugar Grove Regional at the par-72, 7,151-yard Rich Harvest Farms course. The Fighting Illini also have an 11-shot cushion over sixth-place Purdue heading into Saturday’s final round, which Illinois is scheduled to tee off No. 1 at 8:45 a.m. alongside the Blazers and third-place Clemson. The top five teams and top individual not on a qualifying team advance to next week’s NCAA Championships at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas.
ATHENS, Ga. (UI Release) - There's only been one team this year who was able to shutout #12 Illinois men's tennis this season, and that one team struck again in the Round of 16. #5 Baylor stopped the Illini's NCAA Tournament run after a 4-0 victory on Friday in Athens, Ga. The Illini end 2014 with a 24-9 overall record on Brad Dancer's seventh trip to the Sweet 16 in his ninth year at the helm.
LINCOLN, Neb. (UI Release) - The Illini came up on the wrong end of a pitcher's duel on Thursday night, dropping the opener to No. 28 Nebraska, 2-1, at Haymarket Park. Redshirt-junior Drasen Johnson (5-6) threw his second career eight-inning complete game, but suffered the loss for the second time this year while doing so. Illinois struck out 12 times and only managed three hits, equaling its season low.
PEORIA, Ill. - Illinois basketball coach John Groce wants Darius Paul back, and insists Paul is still a "part of [the] family," but wouldn't elaborate Thursday night on what Paul's path back to the team will entail.
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. - Brian Campbell fired a first round 69 to lead Illinois (+5) to a strong start at the NCAA Regional. Illinois is one shot behind UAB (+4) after day one at Rich Harvest Farms. Campbell (-3) is atop the individual leaderboard with teammate Charlie Danielson (+1) just behind at T-6.
URBANA, Ill. - We are learning more about the circumstances that led to Darius Paul's season-long suspension from the Illinois basketball team. According to police records, Paul admitted to officers he has failed two drug tests for marijuana since transferring to Illinois from Western Michigan.