CHICAGO— Jabari Parker of Chicago’s Simeon Career Academy is the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Parker, who was named News-Gazette All-State Player of the Year earlier this month, received the award Thursday during a surprise visit from Alonzo Mourning, a past winner.
CHAMPAIGN — Nathan Scheelhaase was the first pick of the draft. And, right now, he is the first pick as Illinois' starting quarterback for 2012.
For Saturday's Orange and Blue scrimmage, the seniors drafted the rest of the teams. The Blue team selected Scheelhaase No. 1 overall.
Despite misgivings and some awkwardness, the 90th Kiwanis basketball banquet went off without a hitch Tuesday night.
A crowd of nearly 500 gave ousted Illini coach Bruce Weber a standing ovation and clapped itself numb for everyone from the team managers to departing NBA hopeful Meyers Leonard.
Call it closure. Call it a reluctant, somewhat-confusing end to an enigmatic era.
The youngest honorary coach at Saturday's Illinois spring game had a simple request: "Put me with the winning team."
If it works the way Brit Miller hopes, that will be the Orange squad. Miller, a fullback/special teams performer with the St. Louis Rams, returns to his college home this weekend.
"I thought it was cool," Miller said of the honor. "I'm pumped.
ST. LOUIS — Missouri maintained its mastery against Illinois at Busch Stadium, winning 5-4 Wednesday night for its second consecutive victory against the Illini at the home of the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Tigers (18-14) defeated Illinois 7-4 in 2010. Last year's scheduled game was rained out.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — In his first speaking engagement with his Big Ten coaching peers, new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer had to defend what he did in his last coaching job.
Meyer said he was disappointed by a story this week in the Sporting News that said he showed favoritism to star players during his six-year tenure at Florida and that his Gators program winked at disciplinary problems.
URBANA — If the past three months (or longer, depending on your viewpoint) in Illinois basketball weren't unusual enough, Tuesday's annual banquet made it so.
Where to start?
CHAMPAIGN — Mike Divilbiss, who served four years as an assistant coach at Wisconsin-Green Bay under Matt Bollant, will join Bollant's staff at Illinois.
CHAMPAIGN — Illinois co-offensive coordinator Billy Gonzales is denying a report by Sporting News that he had an altercation with a player during his time on the staff at Florida.
The article by Matt Hayes looks at the Florida program during the Urban Meyer era. It mentions an alleged confrontation between then-Gators assistant Gonzales and Florida receiver Percy Harvin.
CHAMPAIGN — As he strolled alongside the fairways of Augusta National Golf Club last weekend, Meyers Leonard had a sort of realization.
His young life is coming full circle.
His father was a golf pro in Robinson. Jim Leonard passed away when Meyers was 6. His grandfather was an accomplished golfer, too.