The news that Bo Ryan would be retiring after the upcoming season was the talk of the college basketball world Monday, and obviously, many associated with the Wisconsin basketball program had reactions. That includes a trio of recently departed Badgers.
Frank Kaminsky, the reigning national player of the year who has a habit for writing lengthy goodbyes, took to Facebook with his reaction to Ryan's announcement.
"When I found out that next season would be coach Ryan's last as the head of Wisconsin's men's basketball program, I had many mixed feelings," the No. 9 pick in last week's NBA Draft wrote. "My first reaction was to call a few guys on the current team and see how they were handling the news. After talking to them, I called coach, and he told me that in every one of his 40-plus seasons as a head basketball coach his 100-percent focus and attention has been on the success and growth of the young men in his various programs. When and if it ever came to a point where he didn't feel he was able to do that, he would leave coaching. I appreciated hearing this from him, but in reality the reason I called was just to talk ... to hear his voice. This is the man who saw something in me at a time when very few did. He took an 18-year-old kid and helped him become a man both on and off the court. No words can accurately describe what coach Ryan has meant to me and how he has changed my life. It makes me happy that the best part of his decision is that he is not done yet. For one last year, everyone will see the same fire and passion he has brought every single day throughout his long and successful career."
[MORE BIG TEN: Badgers' Bo Ryan to retire following 2015-16 season]
A couple other members of the back-to-back Final Four squads from the past two seasons shared their own, more brief thoughts on social media.
“‘Would ya make a shot one time or something?’" Sam Dekker started on Instagram, quoting the longtime coach. "Thanks coach for all you've done for me and everyone that has had the privilege to play for you. Basketball and more importantly life lessons that I'll never forget.”
“I loved playing for coach Ryan during my time at UW," Josh Gasser, who started more games for Ryan than any other player, wrote on Instagram. "His accomplishments speak for themselves, and we are lucky to have him at the helm one more year. #CheersToBo”
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 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.