Big Ten

Da'Monte Williams follows in footsteps of father Frank, commits to Illini

damonte-williams-0228.png

Da'Monte Williams follows in footsteps of father Frank, commits to Illini

Frank Williams had one of the most illustrious careers of any Illinois basketball player.

And at halftime of Sunday's game against Minnesota, another member of his family committed to wear orange and blue.

Da'Monte Williams, a four-star point guard from Peoria and member of the Class of 2017, is following in his father's footsteps, announcing his commitment to John Groce's program on Twitter.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Fighting Illini gear right here]

Da'Monte Williams had several other in-state offers, picking Illinois over Bradley, Illinois State and UIC. Indiana also made an offer, according to Rivals.

Frank Williams ranks 16th on the Illinois all-time scoring list. He poured in 1,440 points in three seasons playing for former head coaches Lon Kruger and Bill Self. He led the team in scoring in 2000-01 and 2001-02. He also ranks in the top 10 all-time in assists, steals and minutes played. Only Dee Brown, Luther Head and Deron Williams scored more points than Frank Williams' 148 for the Illini in NCAA tournament play. His 30-point game against Kansas in 2001 is the second-best single-game scoring effort by an Illinois player in an NCAA tournament game, second only to Deron Williams' 31 points vs. Cincinnati in 2004.

Frank Williams was a member of teams that won two Big Ten championships, posted a collective 65-27 record and won four NCAA tournament games, including marching to the Sweet Sixteen in his final year, 2002.

Frank Williams was a first-round draft pick of the Denver Nuggets in the 2002 NBA Draft. He appeared in 86 games over three NBA seasons with the New York Knicks and Bulls.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

jeremy_larkin.jpg
USA TODAY

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

anderson.jpg
USA TODAY

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.