Big Ten

Spartans' Valentine, Terps' Trimble picked for USA Basketball roster

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Spartans' Valentine, Terps' Trimble picked for USA Basketball roster

Two Big Ten players will be representing the United States at this summer's Pan American Games in Toronto.

Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine and Maryland sophomore Melo Trimble were both named to USA Basketball's 12-man roster on Sunday. The team will compete in the Pan American Games from July 21 through July 25 in Toronto.

Valentine helped guide the Spartans to the seventh Final Four appearance of the Tom Izzo Era this spring. He earned All-Big Ten Third Team honors after finishing in the top 15 in the conference in scoring, rebounding and assists. He started all 39 games for Michigan State.

[MORE BIG TEN: Michigan State suspends Eron Harris indefinitely in wake of arrest]

Trimble was one of the most talented freshmen in the country this past season, earning All-Big Ten First Team honors while helping lead the Terps to their first NCAA tournament appearance in five seasons and 28 wins, tied for the second most in school history.

Three other Big Ten players — Illinois' Malcolm Hill, Purdue's Isaac Haas and Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes — were among the 22 invited to participate in USA Basketball's training camp, but they were not selected for the team.

The team will be coached by Gonzaga head coach Mark Few and will train this week at the Advocate Center here in Chicago.

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.