Big Ten

Frank Kaminsky on playing for MJ: 'It's very, very surreal'


Frank Kaminsky on playing for MJ: 'It's very, very surreal'

Frank Kaminsky is living out the dream of every basketball fan who grew up in Chicagoland: playing for Michael Jordan.

Jordan, who owns the Hornets, made Kaminsky the No. 9 pick in last month's NBA Draft, and though Kaminsky hasn't met his new boss yet, he sure knows plenty about him.

In fact, the former Wisconsin big man is still finding it kind of hard to believe that he's playing for the Bulls legend.

"It’s very, very surreal," Kaminsky, a Lisle native, said while talking to reporters ahead of Tuesday night's White Sox game, where he threw out the first pitch. "Being from Chicago he’s a huge icon here and not just in Chicago but globally. His name is so big. You know you’re in good hands when you’re playing for arguably the best basketball player of all time."

[MORE BIG TEN: Watch Frank Kaminsky take batting practice at White Sox game]

Kaminsky has had a lot to do since being selected with that top-10 pick. He played in five Summer League games in Orlando, averaging 15.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. College basketball's player of the year also went to the ESPYs and starred in a JC Penny ad campaign. Now he's playing baseball on the South Side.

At the least the White Sox are at home.

"It feels like I’ve been everywhere," Kaminsky said. "It’s just nice to be home and hang out with my friends and family, just relax and get to be able to do things like this. I was on the go for so long right after the season ended. I was just happy to get a few weeks to myself."

Kaminsky might not have taken in many White Sox games recently with that busy schedule, but the good thing about playing for MJ in Charlotte is he can check out the White Sox Triple-A affiliate. The South Siders of the future play in Charlotte, too.

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


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


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.