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Local Sports Stories

U of I's Assembly Hall now State Farm Center

The only Assembly Hall in the Big Ten is now in Bloomington, Indiana.

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas announced Monday April 29, that the dome in Champaign immediately will be called the State Farm Center. The insurance company struck a $60 million 30-year deal for the naming rights.

The 50-year-old arena is planned to undergo a $160 million renovation project beginning next spring.

  • Parent Category: Local Sports

Illini's Groce gets contract extension, payraise

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois has rewarded coach John Groce's successful first season in Champaign with a contract extension and a $200,000-a-year raise.

Athletic Director Mike Thomas said Saturday that Groce's contract will be extended one year through the 2017-18 season. The raise will increase his pay to $1.6 million a year. Both changes still need approval of the university's board of trustees.

"The arrow is definitely pointing up for Fighting Illini basketball, and this helps solidify the commitment by both the University and John to continue moving the program to a championship level," Thomas said in a news release.

Groce credited his players, most of whom he inherited from a team that finished the previous season 17-15 and lost 12 of their last 14, costing coach Bruce Weber his job.

The Illini won 23 games, made it to the NCAA tournament and defeated Colorado before losing to Miami. They finished 8-10 in the Big Ten.

"This was one of the most gratifying seasons of my career because of how much I enjoyed coaching this group of players," Groce said. "They bought in from day one, had great attitudes, and gave tremendous effort which allowed us to have success."

Groce came to Illinois after a four-year run at Ohio.

Coach Keady earns Hall of Fame Honors

Boiler legend: "I'm thrilled and humbled"

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Former Purdue men's basketball head coach Gene Keady was elected in to the College Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday night.

Keady began his career at Western Kentucky. He then became the coach at Purdue where he led the Boilers to a 512-270 record. Keady coached the Boilers for 25 years.

"I'm thrilled and humbled to be elected to the College Basketball Hall of Fame,"  Keady said. "It's a total team effort. I couldn't have done it without my former players, assistant coaches, and support staff."

Rollie Massimino and former U.S. congressman Tom McMillen also headline the 2013 class that will be inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

The class will be inducted during a ceremony on November 23 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Keady is currently a special assistant at St. John's working for Red Storm Head Coach and former Boilermaker assistant Steve Lavin.

Vermilion County Basketball Standouts

VERMILION VALLEY CONFERENCE BOYS BASKETBALL

SPECIAL MENTION AND HONORABLE MENTION TEAMS

SPECIAL MENTION:

WADE ROGERS ARMSTRONG-POTOMAC SR.

ANDY BOTT BISMARCK-HENNING JR.

TY BOLEN CHRISMAN JR.

KYLE COBURN GEORGETOWN-RIDGEFARM SR.

DANIEL LAWSON HOOPESTON AREA JR.

JEFF CANN MILFORD JR.

ALEX PORTWOOD MILFORD SO.

SKLYER SLADE OAKWOOD JR.

PARKER LEE OAKWOOD SO.

ANDREW KELLEY SCHLARMAN SR.

KLYE BRAZAS WESTVILLE JR.

HONORABLE MENTION:

SHAWN JOHNSON ARMSTRONG-POTOMAC JR.

BRENNAN CROSE HOOPESTON AREA JR.

JAKE ROGERS MILFORD SO.

ALEC DUTTON SALT FORK SR.

LAYN WHITE WESTVILLE SR.

CHRIS KUCHEFSKI SCHLARMAN JR.

ANDREW CURLEY OAKWOOD JR.

DYLAN BINA GEORGETOWN-RIDGEFARM JR.

WYATT AVENATTI CHRISMAN JR.

AUSTIN REIKEN BISMARCK-HENNING SR. 

  • Parent Category: Local Sports

Cissna Park high school has reached the Elite 8 in boys basketball

Cissna Park high school has reached the Elite 8 inboys basketball.

Coach Kevin Long’s long-talked-about defensive game was emphasized in detail Friday.The defense stepped it up in a championship matchup with Arthur-Lovington and the Timberwolves are howling among the 1A best in Illinois.
Behind a great defensive effort, Long's Timberwolves defeated the Knights of Arthur-Lovington 46-31 in the Class 1A Schlarman Sectional to move to the Elite Eight.

WGFA Radio featured the game on 94.1 FM.

Cole Hasselbring’s 21 points led the T’wolves to their first Elite Eight berth in seven years.

Cissna Park now meets Illini Central in the Illinois State Super-Sectional at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

 

94.1 FM, WGFA