Big Ten

Frank Kaminsky pens farewell message to Badgers, UW

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Frank Kaminsky pens farewell message to Badgers, UW

Basketball season is over, and Frank Kaminsky has graduated, meaning that while he'll always be a Badger, his time at the University of Wisconsin is over.

The seven-foot native of Lisle took the time Friday to publish a farewell message to the university and the basketball program, calling his time in Madison the best four years of his life.

"Writing this blog means that my time at Wisconsin has come to an end, and I am now officially reflecting on the past. Thinking about what to write here is difficult because there is so much to say, but at the same time it makes me sad," Kaminsky wrote. "First and foremost, I have never loved being a part of something as much as I loved being a student-athlete at the greatest university in the world. Thinking about the future is scary, but I know that I am now ready for it."

Kaminsky just wrapped up an amazing senior season with the Badgers, earning Big Ten Player of the Year honors and just about every national player of the year award imaginable. He'll most certainly be selected in next month's NBA Draft. Kaminsky points out that that wasn't always believed to be a possibility, though, retracing his first two seasons of hard work and not much to show for it before he blossomed into one of college basketball's best players.

[MORE BIG TEN: NCAA proposes numerous rule changes to speed up basketball]

"Our story as a team has been so well documented that there really is no need to go into it here with any great detail. But I will say this, it was the best time of my entire life," Kaminsky wrote. "Every single day was better than the previous one. I have no regrets at all about my basketball career at Wisconsin, especially because no one expected me to achieve what I achieved except me."

And as with any college graduate, Kaminsky had plenty of thanks to hand out as he reflected on a life-changing four years.

"To the University of Wisconsin-Madison ... thank you for having me. You have no idea how much you have changed my life. I could not think of a better place in the entire world. I was born and raised in Illinois, but I am proud to say that Wisconsin has turned me into the man I am today.

"Leaving Wisconsin for the last time as a student and the first time as an alumni was very difficult, but I am very excited about my future and I know I will carry Wisconsin with me wherever I go."

Check out Kaminsky's entire post here.

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

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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

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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.