You won't see Rayvonte Rice's name in a lot of mock drafts leading up to this month's NBA Draft, but that isn't stopping the Illinois alum from chasing his NBA dream.
The Champaign native spent his final two collegiate seasons playing for his hometown Illini, and Monday he posted a picture on Instagram from a workout with his home-state NBA team, the Bulls.
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Rice was the Illini's top scorer in each of the past two seasons, ranking highly in the Big Ten in scoring, too. He averaged 15.9 points per game as a junior and 16.5 points per game as a senior. He averaged 30-plus minutes over the past two seasons, though he missed nine games this past season with an injury and suspension.
Rice has worked out for at least three other NBA teams, as he's posted pictures on Instagram from his workouts with the Lakers, Suns and Rockets.
The last Illinois player selected in the NBA Draft was Meyers Leonard, who was the 11th overall pick in the 2012 draft. The Bulls have drafted five Illinois players over the course of their history: Jimmy Dawson (1967), Ron Dunlap (1968), Nate Williams (1976), Scott Meents (1986) and Doug Altenberger (1987).
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.