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Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois Fighting Illini

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The Fighting Illini are the intercollegiate athletic teams of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a large public research-intensive university in the state of Illinois, United States. It is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system...

. The University offers 10 men's and 11 women's varsity sports.

The University operates a number of athletic facilities, including Memorial Stadium
Memorial Stadium (Champaign)
thumb|right|300px|Original plan for Memorial Stadium circa 1921. Caption from [[Popular Mechanics]] Magazine, 1921Memorial Stadium is a football stadium located in Champaign, Illinois, in the United States, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The stadium is dedicated as...

 for football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

, the Assembly Hall
Assembly Hall (Champaign)
Assembly Hall is a large dome-shaped indoor arena, located in Champaign, Illinois, and is part of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign....

 for both men's and women's basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, and the Atkins Tennis Center for men's and women's tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

. The Fighting Illini lay claim to over twenty-five National Championships dating back to 1900. However, the Illini have won just two National Championships since 1958—Men's Tennis in 2003 and Men's Gymnastics in 1989. The men's basketball team finished as National runner-up in 2005, falling just short in the championship game.

Organization


The University's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics administers the official athletics teams of the University. All of the University's athletics teams participate in the NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

's Division I, and form the Big Ten Conference
Big Ten Conference
The Big Ten Conference is the United States' oldest Division I college athletic conference. Its twelve member institutions are located primarily in the Midwestern United States, stretching from Nebraska in the west to Pennsylvania in the east...

 with 11 other primarily midwestern universities. The football team participates in a subdivision within the Division I known as the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

Men's Sports


Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

, basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, cheerleading
Cheerleading
Cheerleading is a physical activity, sometimes a competitive sport, based on organized routines, usually ranging from one to three minutes, which contain the components of tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers, and stunting to direct spectators of events to cheer on sports teams at games or to participate...

, cross country
Cross country running
Cross country running is a sport in which people run a race on open-air courses over natural terrain. The course, typically long, may include surfaces of grass and earth, pass through woodlands and open country, and include hills, flat ground and sometimes gravel road...

, football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

, golf
Golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

, gymnastics
Gymnastics
Gymnastics is a sport involving performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and balance. Internationally, all of the gymnastic sports are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique with each country having its own national governing body...

, tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, track and field
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

, and wrestling
Collegiate wrestling
Collegiate wrestling, sometimes known in the United States as Folkstyle wrestling, is a style of amateur wrestling practised at the collegiate and university level in the United States. Collegiate wrestling emerged from the folk wrestling styles practised in the early history of the United States...

.

Women's Sports


Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, cheerleading
Cheerleading
Cheerleading is a physical activity, sometimes a competitive sport, based on organized routines, usually ranging from one to three minutes, which contain the components of tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers, and stunting to direct spectators of events to cheer on sports teams at games or to participate...

, cross country
Cross country running
Cross country running is a sport in which people run a race on open-air courses over natural terrain. The course, typically long, may include surfaces of grass and earth, pass through woodlands and open country, and include hills, flat ground and sometimes gravel road...

, golf
Golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

, gymnastics
Gymnastics
Gymnastics is a sport involving performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and balance. Internationally, all of the gymnastic sports are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique with each country having its own national governing body...

, soccer, softball
Softball
Softball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of 10 to 14 players. It is a direct descendant of baseball although there are some key differences: softballs are larger than baseballs, and the pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand...

, swimming
Swimming (sport)
Swimming is a sport governed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation .-History: Competitive swimming in Europe began around 1800 BCE, mostly in the form of the freestyle. In 1873 Steve Bowyer introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions, after copying the front crawl used by Native...

 and diving
Diving
Diving is the sport of jumping or falling into water from a platform or springboard, sometimes while performing acrobatics. Diving is an internationally-recognized sport that is part of the Olympic Games. In addition, unstructured and non-competitive diving is a recreational pastime.Diving is one...

, tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, track and field
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

, and volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

.

Baseball

  • NCAA Tournament Appearance: 1947, 1948, 1962, 1963, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2000, 2011
  • Big Ten Champions: 1900, 1903, 1904, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1921, 1922, 1927, 1931, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1952, 1953, 1962, 1963, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2005, 2011
  • Big Ten Tournament Champions: 1989, 1990, 2000, 2011

Basketball: Men


  • National Champions: 1915 awarded by the Helms Athletic Foundation
    Helms Athletic Foundation
    The Helms Athletic Foundation was an athletic foundation based in Los Angeles, founded in 1936 by Bill Schroeder and Paul Helms. It put together a panel of experts to select National Champion teams and make All-America team selections in a number of college sports including football and basketball...

     in 1935)
  • NCAA Runner Up: 2005
  • NCAA Final Four: 1949, 1951, 1952, 1989, 2005
  • Big Ten Champions: 1915, 1917, 1924, 1935, 1937, 1942, 1943, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1963, 1984, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005
  • Big Ten Tournament Champions: 2003, 2005

Basketball: Women


  • NCAA Sweet Sixteen: 1997, 1998
  • Big Ten Champions: 1997

Football


  • National Champions: 1914, 1919, 1923, 1927, 1951
  • Big Ten Champions: 1910, 1914, 1915, 1918, 1919, 1923, 1927, 1928, 1946, 1951, 1953, 1963, 1983, 1990, 2001
  • Bowl Game Victories: 1947 Rose Bowl
    1947 Rose Bowl
    The 1947 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game. It was the 33rd Rose Bowl Game. The Illinois Fighting Illini defeated the UCLA Bruins, 45–14. Illinois halfbacks Claude "Buddy" Young and Julius Rykovich shared the Rose Bowl Player Of The Game award. They were named the Rose Bowl Players...

    , 1952 Rose Bowl
    1952 Rose Bowl
    The 1952 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 1952 at the end of the 1951 college football season. It was the 38th Rose Bowl Game. It holds the distinction of being the first nationally televised college football game...

    , 1964 Rose Bowl
    1964 Rose Bowl
    The 1964 Rose Bowl was the 50th Rose Bowl Game, played on January 1, 1964. It featured the Illinois Fighting Illini against the Washington Huskies....

    , 1990 Florida Citrus Bowl
    1990 Florida Citrus Bowl
    The 1990 Florida Citrus Bowl was a post-season American college football bowl game at the Florida Citrus Bowl stadium in Orlando, Florida between the University of Illinois Fighting Illini and the on January 1, 1990...

    , 1994 Liberty Bowl
    1994 Liberty Bowl
    The 1994 Liberty Bowl was held on December 31, 1994, in Memphis, Tennessee at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The game featured the , of the Big Ten Conference, and the East Carolina Pirates, an independent team. Illinois won the game 30–0....

    , and the 1999 MicronPC.com Bowl, 2010 Texas Bowl
    2010 Texas Bowl
    The 2010 Texas Bowl was the fifth edition of the college football bowl game, and was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The game started at 5:00 PM US CST on Wednesday, December 29, 2010. The game was telecast on ESPN for the second time in bowl history after being televised by the NFL...


Gymnastics: Men

  • NCAA National Champions: 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1989
  • Big Ten Champions: 1911, 1912, 1929, 1935, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1981, 1983, 1988, 1989, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2011

Tennis: Men


  • NCAA National Champions: 2003
  • NCAA National Runner-up: 2007
  • Big Ten Champions: 1914, 1917, 1922, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1946, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Big Ten Tournament Champions: 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Tennis: Women

  • NCAA Tournament Appearances: 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010

Track and Field: Men


INDOOR
  • NCAA National Champions: 1921, 1926, 1943, 1945, 1946
  • Big Ten Champions: 1912, 1913, 1914, 1916, 1920, 1921, 1924, 1928, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1977, 1981, 1987, 1988, 1989


OUTDOOR
  • NCAA National Champions: 1921, 1927, 1944, 1946, 1947
  • Big Ten Champions: 1907, 1909, 1913, 1914, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1934, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1975, 1977, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1994

Track and Field: Women


INDOOR
  • Big Ten Champions: 1989, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996


OUTDOOR
  • Big Ten Champions: 1988, 1989, 1992, 1995, 2005, 2007

Volleyball

  • NCAA Final Four: 1987, 1988
  • NCAA Elite Eight: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992
  • NCAA Sweet Sixteen: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances: 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Big Ten
    Big Ten volleyball
    Big Ten volleyball represents the 12 women's teams that participate in the conference. Through 2009, Big Ten volleyball has earned a combined 17 NCAA final four appearances by 6 different teams. In 1987, Illinois became the first program to represent the Big Ten in the final four, and in 1999...

     Champions: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1992

Women's Soccer

  • NCAA Elite Eight: 2004
  • NCAA Sweet Sixteen: 2004, 2006, 2008
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011
  • Big Ten Tournament Champions: 2003, 2011

Wrestling

  • Big Ten Champions: 1913, 1917, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1932, 1935, 1937, 1946, 1947, 1952, 2005

Famous athletes

  • Ron Acks
    Ron Acks
    Ron Acks is a former professional American football player who played linebacker for nine seasons for the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, and Green Bay Packers.-References:...

     - football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , played professionally for the Minnesota Vikings
    Minnesota Vikings
    The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960...

    , Atlanta Falcons
    Atlanta Falcons
    The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are a member of the South Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

    , Boston Patriots and Green Bay Packers
    Green Bay Packers
    The Green Bay Packers are an American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Packers are the current NFL champions...

    .
  • Nick Anderson
    Nick Anderson
    Nelison "Nick" Anderson is a former American professional basketball player. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for two years, playing on the team that reached the NCAA Final Four in 1989. That Fighting Illini team gained the moniker "Flyin' Illini" by Dick Vitale while...

     – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     (1987–1989), played professionally for the NBA
    National Basketball Association
    The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

    's Orlando Magic
    Orlando Magic
    The Orlando Magic is a professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. They play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association and are currently coached by Stan Van Gundy...

     and Sacramento Kings
    Sacramento Kings
    The Sacramento Kings are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California, United States. They are currently members of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association...

  • James Augustine
    James Augustine (basketball)
    James Augustine is an American professional basketball player. He was born in Midlothian, Illinois, but eventually moved to Mokena, Illinois where he attended Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox, Illinois where he graduated in 2002...

     – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     (2002–2006), played two seasons for the NBA
    National Basketball Association
    The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

    's Orlando Magic
    Orlando Magic
    The Orlando Magic is a professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. They play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association and are currently coached by Stan Van Gundy...

    , all-time leader in rebounds at Illinois
  • Kenny Battle
    Kenny Battle
    Kenneth R. "Kenny" Battle is an American retired professional basketball player.-High school career:...

     – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

    , played in 4 NBA seasons for the Phoenix Suns
    Phoenix Suns
    The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association and the only team in their division not to be based in California. Their home arena since 1992 has been the US...

    , Denver Nuggets
    Denver Nuggets
    The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...

    , Boston Celtics
    Boston Celtics
    The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...

     and Golden State Warriors
    Golden State Warriors
    The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in Oakland, California. They are part of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

  • Arrelious Benn
    Arrelious Benn
    -External links:**...

     – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , wide receiver for the National Football League
    National Football League
    The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

    's Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football franchise based in Tampa, Florida, U.S. They are currently members of the Southern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League – they are the only team in the division not to come from the old NFC West...

     (2010–present), holds freshman receiving record at Illinois.
  • Lou Boudreau
    Lou Boudreau
    Louis "Lou" Boudreau was an American Major League Baseball player and manager. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970...

     – baseball
    Baseball
    Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

    , played professionally for and managed the Cleveland Indians
    Cleveland Indians
    The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Since , they have played in Progressive Field. The team's spring training facility is in Goodyear, Arizona...

    , and an enshrined member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Dee Brown – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     (2002–2006), played two seasons for the Utah Jazz
    Utah Jazz
    The Utah Jazz is a professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are currently a part of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

     and Washington Wizards
    Washington Wizards
    The Washington Wizards are a professional basketball team based in Washington, D.C., previously known as Washington Bullets. They play in the National Basketball Association .-Early years:...

    , 2005 Consensus All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year
  • Aspen Burkett – Track and Field
    Track and field
    Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

     (1994–1998), Freshmen Athlete of the year 1995, Multiple All-American Indoor and Outdoor Big Ten Champion, World Team 1995, Olympic Trials 1996
  • Dick Butkus
    Dick Butkus
    Richard Marvin "Dick" Butkus is a former American football player for the Chicago Bears. He was drafted in 1965 and he is also widely regarded as one of the best and most durable linebackers of all time. Butkus starred as a football player for the University of Illinois and the Chicago Bears. He...

     – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

     (1962–1964), played linebacker
    Linebacker
    A linebacker is a position in American football that was invented by football coach Fielding H. Yost of the University of Michigan. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards behind the line of scrimmage, behind the defensive linemen...

     for the NFL
    National Football League
    The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

    's Chicago Bears
    Chicago Bears
    The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

    , member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
    Pro Football Hall of Fame
    The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame of professional football in the United States with an emphasis on the National Football League . It opened in Canton, Ohio, on September 7, 1963, with 17 charter inductees...

  • Brian Cook
    Brian Cook
    Brian Joshua Cook is an American professional basketball player. Cook was drafted out of the University of Illinois with the 24th pick of the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers...

     – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     (1999–2003), Third all time scorer for the Illini, currently plays professionally for the Los Angeles Clippers
    Los Angeles Clippers
    The Los Angeles Clippers are a professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California, United States. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association...

  • Vontae Davis
    Vontae Davis
    -Miami Dolphins:Davis was signed by the Dolphins to a five-year deal with a guarantee in excess of $7 million. Davis recorded his first career interception in Week 4 of the 2009 season against Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards, returning it 23 yards for a touchdown. Davis finished his rookie...

    - football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , cornerback for the National Football League
    National Football League
    The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

    's Miami Dolphins
    Miami Dolphins
    The Miami Dolphins are a Professional football team based in the Miami metropolitan area in Florida. The team is part of the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

     (2009–present) freshman all-American, 2x Jim Thorpe semifinalist (2007,2008)
  • Ken Dilger
    Ken Dilger
    Kenneth Ray Dilger is a retired professional American football player.-Early years:Ken Dilger was raised in Mariah Hill, Spencer County, Indiana. He attended Heritage Hills High School in Lincoln City, Indiana where he played quarterback; he also starred in basketball and baseball...

     – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

     (1991–1994), played professionally for the Indianapolis Colts
    Indianapolis Colts
    The Indianapolis Colts are a professional American football team based in Indianapolis. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League ....

     and Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football franchise based in Tampa, Florida, U.S. They are currently members of the Southern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League – they are the only team in the division not to come from the old NFC West...

    ; starting Tight End in Super Bowl XXXVII
    Super Bowl XXXVII
    Super Bowl XXXVII was an American football game played on January 26, 2003 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California to decide the National Football League champion following the 2002 regular season...

  • Charles Carroll "Tony" Eason
    Tony Eason
    Charles Carroll "Tony" Eason, IV is a former quarterback. He played college football for the University of Illinois and professional football for the New England Patriots and New York Jets .-Early years:Eason grew up in Walnut Grove, California, and attended Delta High School in Clarksburg,...

     – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , (1979–1983) played professionally for the New England Patriots
    New England Patriots
    The New England Patriots, commonly called the "Pats", are a professional football team based in the Greater Boston area, playing their home games in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium. The team is part of the East Division of the American Football Conference in the National...

    ; led team to Super Bowl XX
    Super Bowl XX
    Super Bowl XX was an American football championship game played on January 26, 1986 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 1985 regular season...

  • Dike Eddleman – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

    , and track and field
    Track and field
    Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

     (1947–49), also tied for 2nd at the 1948 Summer Olympics in the high jump
    High jump
    The high jump is a track and field athletics event in which competitors must jump over a horizontal bar placed at measured heights without the aid of certain devices in its modern most practiced format; auxiliary weights and mounds have been used for assistance; rules have changed over the years....

  • Perdita Felicien
    Perdita Felicien
    Perdita Felicien is a Canadian hurdler.-Early life:Felicien carries her mother's maiden name, whose origins are in the Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia...

    , track and field
    Track and field
    Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

    , first female in Illinois history to win a gold medal
    Gold medal
    A gold medal is typically the medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture...

     in an individual event at the World Championships
    IAAF World Championships in Athletics
    The World Championships in Athletics is an event organized by the International Association of Athletics Federations . Originally, it was organised every four years, but this changed in 1991, and it has since been organised biennially.-History:...

  • Darrin Fletcher
    Darrin Fletcher
    Darrin Glen Fletcher is a former catcher in Major League Baseball who played from to .Fletcher made his major league debut in 1989 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and appeared in 5 games. He saw limited major league playing time the following season...

    -Former catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Jeff George
    Jeff George
    Jeffrey Scott "Jeff" George is a former American football quarterback. He was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts with the first overall pick of the 1990 NFL Draft...

     – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , first overall pick of 1990 NFL Draft
    NFL Draft
    The National Football League Draft is an annual event in which the National Football League teams select eligible college football players and it is their most common source of player recruitment. The basic design of the draft is each team is given a position in the drafting order in reverse order...

     by the Indianapolis Colts
    Indianapolis Colts
    The Indianapolis Colts are a professional American football team based in Indianapolis. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League ....

    , also played for a variety of teams including the Atlanta Falcons
    Atlanta Falcons
    The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are a member of the South Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

    , Oakland Raiders
    Oakland Raiders
    The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football team based in Oakland, California. They currently play in the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

    , and the Washington Redskins
    Washington Redskins
    The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team and members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team plays at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, while its headquarters and training facility are at Redskin Park in Ashburn,...

  • Kendall Gill
    Kendall Gill
    Kendall Cedric Gill is a retired American professional basketball player, now a sports analyst for Comcast Sports Net and the Big Ten Network.-Early life:...

     – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     (1986–1990), 1990 consensus All-American and Big 10 Player of the Year, played professionally for 15 seasons in the NBA
  • Red Grange
    Red Grange
    Harold Edward "Red" Grange, nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost", was a college and professional American football halfback for the University of Illinois, the Chicago Bears, and for the short-lived New York Yankees. His signing with the Bears helped legitimize the National Football League...

     – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

     (1923–1925), played professionally for the NFL
    National Football League
    The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

    's Chicago Bears
    Chicago Bears
    The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

    , and an enshrined member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
    Pro Football Hall of Fame
    The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame of professional football in the United States with an emphasis on the National Football League . It opened in Canton, Ohio, on September 7, 1963, with 17 charter inductees...

  • Don Laz- Record Setting American Pole Vaulter and Silver Medalist in Pole Vault in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland
  • George Halas
    George Halas
    George Stanley Halas, Sr. , nicknamed "Papa Bear" and "Mr. Everything", was a player, coach, owner and pioneer in professional American football. He was the iconic longtime leader of the NFL's Chicago Bears...

     – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , professional player, coach, and owner of the NFL's Chicago Bears, and an enshrined member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
    Pro Football Hall of Fame
    The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame of professional football in the United States with an emphasis on the National Football League . It opened in Canton, Ohio, on September 7, 1963, with 17 charter inductees...

  • Lowell Hamilton
    Lowell Hamilton
    Lowell Hamilton was a former high school and college basketball player during the 1980s. Hamilton, a dominant high school center, led Chicago's Providence-St. Mel to a third-place finish in the I.H.S.A. 1984 high school playoffs, as well as a Class A state title in 1985...

     (1985–1989)- Basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

    , Played Professional Basketball in Greece.
  • Kevin Hardy – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , played professionally for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars
    Jacksonville Jaguars
    The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional American football team based in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

    , Dallas Cowboys
    Dallas Cowboys
    The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football franchise which plays in the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference of the National Football League . They are headquartered in Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas...

    , and Cincinnati Bengals
    Cincinnati Bengals
    The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the AFC's North Division in the National Football League . The Bengals began play in 1968 as an expansion team in the American Football League , and joined the NFL in 1970 in the AFL-NFL...

  • Derek Harper
    Derek Harper
    Derek Ricardo Harper is a retired American professional basketball player from the University of Illinois, who spent 16 seasons as a point guard in the National Basketball Association with the Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers.-College:After graduating from...

     – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     (1980–1983), played professionally for 16 seasons in the NBA, ranked 11th all-time in steals and 17th in assists
  • Luther Head
    Luther Head
    Luther Dale Head is an American professional basketball player. Standing 6'3" and weighing 185 lb , Head plays primarily shooting guard but played small forward as a college basketball star at the University of Illinois.-High school:Head attended Manley Academy in Chicago where he averaged over...

     – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     (2001–2005), guard for the Sacramento Kings
    Sacramento Kings
    The Sacramento Kings are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California, United States. They are currently members of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association...

  • Brad Hopkins
    Brad Hopkins
    Bradley D. Hopkins is a former American football player. He played left tackle for 13 seasons in the National Football League, all of them with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans organization.-Early years:...

     – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , first round pick in the 1993 NFL Draft
    1993 NFL Draft
    The 1993 NFL Draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 25-26, 1993...

     by the Tennessee Titans
    Tennessee Titans
    The Tennessee Titans are a professional American football team based in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. They are members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Previously known as the Houston Oilers, the team began play in 1960 as a charter...

     and future all-pro.
  • Eddie Johnson – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

    , played professionally for 17 seasons in the NBA, and the league's 35th all-time leading scorer
  • Johnny "Red" Kerr
    Johnny Kerr
    John G. “Red” Kerr was an American basketball player, coach, and color commentator. He played in the NBA from 1954 to 1966, mainly as a member of the Syracuse Nationals...

     – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

    , member of the 1952 Final Four
    NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
    The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball...

     team, played professionally for 11 seasons in the NBA, first head coach for both the Chicago Bulls
    Chicago Bulls
    The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois, playing in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1966. They play their home games at the United Center...

     and Phoenix Suns
    Phoenix Suns
    The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association and the only team in their division not to be based in California. Their home arena since 1992 has been the US...

    , and a former broadcaster for the Chicago Bulls.
  • Herbert "Herb" Henry McKenley (1946–48), NCAA and Olympic champion sprinter and 400 meter runner from Jamaica.
  • Rashard Mendenhall
    Rashard Mendenhall
    Rashard Jamal Mendenhall is an American football running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Steelers 23rd overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. He played college football at Illinois....

     – American Football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

     Running Back for the Pittsburgh Steelers
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team currently belongs to the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Founded in , the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC...

    .
  • Ray Nitschke
    Ray Nitschke
    Raymond Ernest "Ray" Nitschke was a professional football player who played his entire career as a middle linebacker for the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. Wearing #66, he played fifteen seasons, from 1958-72....

     – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , played professionally for the NFL's Green Bay Packers
    Green Bay Packers
    The Green Bay Packers are an American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Packers are the current NFL champions...

    , and an enshrined member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
    Pro Football Hall of Fame
    The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame of professional football in the United States with an emphasis on the National Football League . It opened in Canton, Ohio, on September 7, 1963, with 17 charter inductees...

  • Ken Norman
    Ken Norman
    Kenneth Darnel Norman is an American former professional basketball player. Kenny was a standout forward for the Illinois Fighting Illini who was selected 19th overall by the Los Angeles Clippers of the 1987 NBA Draft...

     – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     (1984–1987), played professionally for 10 seasons in the NBA
  • Harold Osborn
    Harold Osborn
    Harold Marion Osborn was a U.S. track athlete. He won a gold medal in Olympic decathlon and high jump in 1924....

     – track & field (1918–1922), won two gold medals in the 1924 Summer Olympics
    1924 Summer Olympics
    The 1924 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VIII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1924 in Paris, France...

    , charter member of U.S. Track & Field Hall of Fame
  • Roger Powell, Jr. – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     (2001–2005), played briefly for the Utah Jazz
    Utah Jazz
    The Utah Jazz is a professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are currently a part of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

  • Marlon Primous – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , played briefly for the Chicago Bears.
  • Bogie Redmon – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

    , 1962–65
  • Simeon Rice
    Simeon Rice
    Simeon James Rice [] is a former American football defensive end, last playing in 2009. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals third overall in the 1996 NFL Draft...

     – football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , played professionally for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals
    Arizona Cardinals
    The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

     and Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football franchise based in Tampa, Florida, U.S. They are currently members of the Southern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League – they are the only team in the division not to come from the old NFC West...

  • Bob Richards
    Bob Richards
    The Reverend Robert Eugene Richards, known as Bob Richards , known as the "Vaulting Vicar" or the "Pole Vaulting Parson" in his competitive days, was a versatile athlete who made three Olympic teams in two events...

     – pole vaulter and decathlete, Olympic pole vault champion, 1952 and 1956
  • Scott Spiezio
    Scott Spiezio
    Scott Edward Spiezio is a former Major League Baseball infielder. He is currently an infielder for the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League . He is well known for his time as a member of the Anaheim Angels, when he hit a 3-run home run in Game Six of the 2002 World Series against the...

     – baseball
    Baseball
    Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

    , has played for the St. Louis Cardinals
    St. Louis Cardinals
    The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

    , Oakland Athletics
    Oakland Athletics
    The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

    , Anaheim Angels
    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
    The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a professional baseball team based in Anaheim, California, United States. The Angels are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The "Angels" name originates from the city in which the team started, Los Angeles...

    , and Seattle Mariners
    Seattle Mariners
    The Seattle Mariners are a professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in , the Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July...

  • Justin Spring
    Justin Spring
    Justin Edward Spring is a retired American gymnast. He is a member of the bronze medal winning U.S. team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He was also a top gymnast in NCAA competition, where he represented the University of Illinois....

     – gymnastics
    Gymnastics
    Gymnastics is a sport involving performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and balance. Internationally, all of the gymnastic sports are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique with each country having its own national governing body...

     (2002–2006), member of the bronze medal
    Bronze medal
    A bronze medal is a medal awarded to the third place finisher of contests such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, etc. The practice of awarding bronze third place medals began at the 1904 Olympic Games in St...

    -winning men's gymnastics team at the 2008 Summer Olympics
    2008 Summer Olympics
    The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events...

  • Cindy Stein
    Cindy Stein
    Cindy Stein is a former coach of the Missouri Tigers women's basketball team at the University of Missouri. She was the head coach for the Tigers from 1998 to 2010...

     – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

    , head women's basketball coach at the University of Missouri
    University of Missouri
    The University of Missouri System is a state university system providing centralized administration for four universities, a health care system, an extension program, five research and technology parks, and a publishing press. More than 64,000 students are currently enrolled at its four campuses...

     since 1998
  • Steve Stricker
    Steve Stricker
    Steven Stricker is an American professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour. He has won 11 tournaments on the PGA Tour including the 2001 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and two FedEx Cup playoff events. His most successful season on tour came in 2009, when he had three tournament victories...

     – golf
    Golf
    Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

     (1986–1990), PGA Golfer (1990–present)
  • Frank Williams
    Frank Williams (basketball)
    Frank Lowell Williams is a former American professional basketball player. As a point guard, Williams starred at both the high school and collegiate levels, and played briefly in the NBA....

     – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

    , has been part of the NBA's New York Knicks
    New York Knicks
    The New York Knickerbockers, prominently known as the Knicks, are a professional basketball team based in New York City. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

    , Denver Nuggets
    Denver Nuggets
    The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...

    , Chicago Bulls
    Chicago Bulls
    The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois, playing in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1966. They play their home games at the United Center...

    , and Los Angeles Clippers
    Los Angeles Clippers
    The Los Angeles Clippers are a professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California, United States. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association...

  • Marques Sullivan
    Marques Sullivan
    Marques D. Sullivan is a former professional American football offensive lineman for the Buffalo Bills, the New York Giants,the New England Patriots and the Chicago Rush.-Early life:...

    , football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    , Playboy All-American Tackle that played 4 season with NFL's Buffalo Bills
    Buffalo Bills
    The Buffalo Bills are a professional football team based in Buffalo, New York. They are currently members of the East Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

    , New York Giants
    New York Giants
    The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, representing the New York City metropolitan area. The Giants are currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

    , and New England Patriots
    New England Patriots
    The New England Patriots, commonly called the "Pats", are a professional football team based in the Greater Boston area, playing their home games in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium. The team is part of the East Division of the American Football Conference in the National...

  • Deron Williams
    Deron Williams
    Deron Michael Williams , nicknamed D-Will, is an American basketball player currently with the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association . Williams has also played for the Utah Jazz of the NBA and Beşiktaş of the Turkish Basketball League...

     – basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

     (2002–2005), point guard for the New Jersey Nets
    New Jersey Nets
    The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

    , third overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft
    2005 NBA Draft
    The 2005 NBA Draft took place on June 28, 2005 in the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In this draft, NBA teams took turns selecting amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible players, such as players from high schools and non-North American leagues...

    .
  • Craig Virgin
    Craig Virgin
    Craig Steven Virgin is an American distance runner. He was born in Belleville, Illinois and grew up near Lebanon, Illinois...

     – long-distance runner, 1975 NCAA cross country
    Cross country running
    Cross country running is a sport in which people run a race on open-air courses over natural terrain. The course, typically long, may include surfaces of grass and earth, pass through woodlands and open country, and include hills, flat ground and sometimes gravel road...

     champion, 1980 and 1981 world cross-country champion.
  • D. A. Points
    D. A. Points
    Darren Andrew "D.A." Points is an American professional golfer who currently plays on the PGA Tour.Points was born in Pekin, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois and was a third team All-American member of the golf team. Points won the Illinois State Amateur three times; he lost to...

     – PGA Golfer (1999–present)
  • Isiah Williams
    Isiah Williams
    Isiah John "Juice" Williams is an American football quarterback who is currently signed to the Chicago Slaughter of the Indoor Football League. He was undrafted in 2010...

    -Football (2006–2009) NFL Free Agent

Men's Basketball: 1988–1989 season

  • Overall record: (31–5)
  • Head coach: Lou Henson
    Lou Henson
    Lou Henson is a former college basketball coach. He retired as the all time leader in victories at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with 423 victories and New Mexico State with 289 victories...



Notable Players:
  • Stephen Bardo
    Stephen Bardo
    Stephen Dean "Steve" Bardo is a retired American professional basketball player, in the shooting guard position.-Basketball career:...

  • Kenny Battle
    Kenny Battle
    Kenneth R. "Kenny" Battle is an American retired professional basketball player.-High school career:...

  • Kendall Gill
    Kendall Gill
    Kendall Cedric Gill is a retired American professional basketball player, now a sports analyst for Comcast Sports Net and the Big Ten Network.-Early life:...

  • Nick Anderson
    Nick Anderson
    Nelison "Nick" Anderson is a former American professional basketball player. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for two years, playing on the team that reached the NCAA Final Four in 1989. That Fighting Illini team gained the moniker "Flyin' Illini" by Dick Vitale while...

  • Lowell Hamilton
    Lowell Hamilton
    Lowell Hamilton was a former high school and college basketball player during the 1980s. Hamilton, a dominant high school center, led Chicago's Providence-St. Mel to a third-place finish in the I.H.S.A. 1984 high school playoffs, as well as a Class A state title in 1985...

  • Marcus Liberty
    Marcus Liberty
    Marcus Liberty is a retired American professional basketball player.-High School:Liberty attended Chicago King High School from 1983 to 1987. During his time at King, Liberty led his basketball teams to an IHSA State Championship in 1986 and a second-place finish in 1987...

  • PJ Bowman
  • Larry Smith
  • Earvin Small


Story: Ranked #1 during the regular season. Known for their athletic style. Defeated in the Final Four of the 1989 NCAA Tournament
1989 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The 1989 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 16, 1989, and ended with the championship game on April 3 in Seattle, Washington...

, by the Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Wolverines
The Michigan Wolverines comprise 27 varsity sports teams at the University of Michigan. These teams compete in the NCAA's Division I and in the Big Ten Conference in all sports except men's ice hockey which competes in the NCAA D1 Central Collegiate Hockey Association, and women's water polo, which...

 even though they had defeated them twice during the regular season. Michigan went on to win the National Championship.

Men's Basketball: 2004–2005 season

  • Overall record (tournaments included): 37–2
  • Regular season: 29–1
  • Big Ten Conference play: 15–1
  • Head coach: Bruce Weber
    Bruce Weber (coach)
    Bruce Brett Weber is an American college basketball coach. Weber is the head coach of the University of Illinois men's basketball team...



Starters:
  • G – Deron Williams
    Deron Williams
    Deron Michael Williams , nicknamed D-Will, is an American basketball player currently with the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association . Williams has also played for the Utah Jazz of the NBA and Beşiktaş of the Turkish Basketball League...

  • G – Dee Brown
  • G – Luther Head
    Luther Head
    Luther Dale Head is an American professional basketball player. Standing 6'3" and weighing 185 lb , Head plays primarily shooting guard but played small forward as a college basketball star at the University of Illinois.-High school:Head attended Manley Academy in Chicago where he averaged over...

  • F – Roger Powell, Jr
  • F – James Augustine
    James Augustine (basketball)
    James Augustine is an American professional basketball player. He was born in Midlothian, Illinois, but eventually moved to Mokena, Illinois where he attended Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox, Illinois where he graduated in 2002...



Story: The first Illinois men's basketball team to be ranked number one in the polls since Lou Henson
Lou Henson
Lou Henson is a former college basketball coach. He retired as the all time leader in victories at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with 423 victories and New Mexico State with 289 victories...

's "Flyin' Illini" of 1989. Illinois won the Big Ten Tournament and were the overall number one seed in the 2005 NCAA Tournament
2005 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The 2005 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 65 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 15, 2005, and ended with the championship game on April 4 at the Edward Jones Dome in St...

, eventually losing to the University of North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States...

, the number two overall seed, in the finals, 75–70. This Illinois team tied the NCAA record at that time for most wins in a season with 37 and was undefeated until losing the final game of the regular season at Ohio State by the score of 64–65, on a three pointer by Matt Sylvester in the final seconds of the game.

Controversy



A symbol/mascot of the University's athletic teams was, from 1926–2007, a Native American figure, Chief Illiniwek, who sparked significant controversy beginning in the 1980s. Critics of the Chief claimed that it was a racist stereotype and a symbol of the oppression to Native Americans that took place in past American history. Supporters claimed that it was inoffensive and a source of pride and reverence to the Native American heritage of Illinois Past Sioux elder, Frank Fools Crow
Frank Fools Crow
Frank Fools Crow was a Lakota Sioux spiritual leader, Yuwipi medicine man, and the nephew of Black Elk. He was instrumental in negotiating the end of the insurrection at Wounded Knee in 1973 and the subject of a biography by Thomas Mails.-Life:...

, made and sold an authentic ceremonial costume and headdress to the university; recently, the Oglala Sioux tribe demanded the costume and headdress back from the university, though this move was opposed by one of Fools Crow's descendants.

The University was (and is) deeply divided on this issue; while some of the faculty condemned the symbol, the administration remained supportive of it. The University Board of Trustees announced on February 16, 2007, that the Chief's last public performance would be the final home game of the 2006–2007 Men's Basketball season. The name "Fighting Illini" was retained, as the NCAA rescinded its criticism of the use of the term. The name "Fighting Illini" pre-dates the Chief Illiniwek symbol and was bestowed upon the team in honor of Illinoisans who fought in World War I; the use of the name "Illini" dates to the 19th century.

External links