It’s sure been a great ride so far with Illinois Basketball. I’ve seen the orange blur of Dee Brown, the glare off of James Augestine’s head as he slams a dunk, Deron Williams and Luther Head sink treys to their heart’s content and the “Reverend” Roger Powell, Jr. thank Jesus for helping him whip up on poor Purdue and Missouri.
I was not a big fan of Illinois athletics until I moved to Champaign. I mean, I went to a football game once and probably a basketball game, but most of my experiences in going to Assembly Hall were to see concerts. Well, the rock stars appearing at Assembly Hall these days know how to handle a different kind of rock better than anybody else in college hoops this season.
I’ve been a basketball fan since I played for the mighty, mighty Sacred Heart Shamrocks in the seventh grade, and a true Illini fan for only the last four years. I can think of only a handful of teams that have captured the imaginations of fans everywhere like this team has. The Illini play the game the way it is supposed to be played, as a team that is better than the sum of its parts.
Only a few others have had the combination of talent, passion, intensity, intelligence and unselfishness to compare with this Illini team. It’s the kind of team that makes the hearts of basketball purists everywhere jump for joy. It is flat out fun to watch this team. They may not be perfect, but so far they are.
Regardless of what happens, from here on it’s my goal to savor this season and enjoy this rare thing of beauty. I may not ever see an Illini team like this again.
It’s great to be an Illini fan now.