Fighting Illini Basketball Sets Date, Player List for Alumni Game

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Many of the best Illinois college basketball players from the past two decades will play on the Assembly Hall floor again for the 2011 Fighting Illini Alumni Basketball Game, Saturday, Aug. 6.

All former members of the Fighting Illini basketball program have been invited back to campus for the reunion weekend.

A lot of Illini have already committed to play and the list will continue growing between now and 8-6-11.

By Paul M. Banks

kendall gill illinois

Former players scheduled to play include:

Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets, Dee Brown, Luther Head of the Sacramento Kings, Current Chicago Bulls TV Analyst Kendall Gill, Brian Cook of the L.A. Clippers, Kiwane Garris, Frank Williams, Demetri McCamey, Cory Bradford, Kevin Turner, Jerry Hester, Robert Archibald, Sergio McClain, Brian Randle, Damir Krupalija, Trent Meacham, Mike Davis, Jarrod Gee, Lucas Johnson, Mike Tisdale, Chris Gandy, Jack Ingram, Marcus Griffin, Calvin Brock and Arias Davis, as well as former players and current UI basketball staff members Jerrance Howard, Sean Harrington and Chester Frazier.

At halftime of the alumni game, which tips at 6.p.m. the University of Illinois will honor its back-to-back Big Ten championship teams from the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. All players present who have an Honored Jersey hanging in Assembly Hall will be introduced during the game as well.

Fans who purchase tickets will also have the opportunity to watch the current Illini squad practice and scrimmage at the Assembly Hall prior to the alumni game.

Illinois is taking an international trip to Italy, Aug. 10-20, and will utilize one of its allowable practice sessions on Aug. 6 in order for fans to get an early look at preparations for the 2011-12 season.

“We are excited to welcome everyone back to campus for another Fighting Illini basketball reunion and alumni game,” Illinois head coach Bruce Weber said in a statement released by the university.

“It’s important that our former players, managers, support staff members and their families remain involved with our program and continue to have opportunities to return to the U of I and visit with old friends and teammates and share memories. We held our first alumni game in 2008 and it exceeded everyone’s expectations. It was truly a special night to have a crowd of more than 15,000 there for the game and watch the unveiling of the Honored Jerseys of the top players in school history.”

In addition, Deron Williams will hold a pair of events on Aug. 6 to benefit his Point of Hope Foundation. Through Point of Hope, Williams has pledged to fully endow a scholarship for an Illinois student-athlete. Williams will host a golf outing in the morning at Stone Creek and a post-game reception on campus at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC).

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports You can follow him on Twitter

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