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Congratulations to the Illinois
Fighting Illini basketball team and head coach Bruce Weber for a
great season, finishing with a 26-7 record.
Who would have thought at the
beginning of the college basketball season, when the Fighting Illini
hired a new head coach in Bruce Weber, that at first he would have
to endure some trying moments, such as the Illini fans being so
spoiled with the former coach that coach Weber would finally get so
irate that he finally had to blow off steam at the media and the
fans? Another was at the start of the basketball season when he had
to sit some players on the bench for their wrongdoings. The
basketball team could have folded and not cared about playing this
season, but Bruce Weber, his assistants and the players would not
see it this way.
Instead the Fighting Illini
started out the season by winning 10 of their first 12 games and
finished with a 12-game winning streak and winning an unprecedented
Big Ten title for the first time since 1952. Then, a historic moment
occurred in the NCAA tournament, when Illinois, a fifth seed, beat a
higher-seeded team. This was the first time ever that the Fighting
Illini had beaten a team that was seeded higher than they were. This
win was not by one or two points but by an amazing 24 points.
[to top of second
column in this letter]
Although the Fighting Illini
lost in the Sweet 16, with a team predominant of sophomores, I can
foresee only greatness for the Illini, especially if the team stays
together and coach Weber can have fairly successful if not great
recruiting seasons for years to come.
I would also like to encourage
high school players to stay and play basketball at an Illinois
college or university instead of going far away to go to school.
There are many fine programs here in the state of Illinois, and you
would also have the added benefit of having your parents and friends
root on you and your team.