Where are they now? 2004-05 Illini
Illinois basketball never was better than in 2004-05. And basketball remains a part of the lives of many of the players and staff who made it special. Marcus Jackson tracked them down for an update:
11 Dee Brown Jr. Guard—After an NBA stint, Brown recently signed a deal to join Latvian club VEF Riga for the upcoming season, his sixth overseas.
5 Deron Williams Jr. Guard—Three-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist entering his ninth NBA season and third as Nets starting point guard.
4 Luther Head Sr. Guard— Played parts of six seasons in the NBA before spending last season in NBA Developmental League. His destination for next season has not been determined.
43 Roger Powell Sr. Forward— Former CBA Rookie of the Year gave up playing to coach and is a rising star in the profession, entering his third season on the staff at Valparaiso.
40 James Augustine Jr. Forward/Center— After two years with the Orlando Magic, Augustine has spent the last five seasons playing overseas, most recently with Russian club BC Khimki.
15 Calvin Brock Fr. Guard— After playing three seasons in Europe, an injury derailed Brock’s career. In the process of transitioning into the workforce in the States. Coaching is a possibility.
33 Rich McBride So. Guard— Spent a season as head coach at Cairo High before returning to his alma mater — Lanphier in Springfield — as an assistant coach.
34 Fred Nkemdi Sr. Forward— Received his law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan and currently works as a law clerk at Ace Law Group in Las Vegas while preparing for the Nevada bar.
41 Warren Carter So. Forward— Entering his seventh season of professional basketball abroad. Carter will suit up for Trotamundos De Carabobo in Venezuela.
42 Brian Randle So. Forward— Spent four of his first five professional seasons in Israel before playing last season in Germany. Will return to Israel this season as a member of Hapoel Tel Aviv.
44 Marcus Arnold Jr. Forward—The Illinois State transfer has spent the last five seasons playing overseas, most recently with Turkish club Aliaga.
45 Nick Smith Sr. Center—The fourth of six 7-footers at Illinois —and the tallest player in program history —returned to his native Florida where he works in the financial industry.
50 Jack Ingram Sr. Forward/Center—After a European basketball career, where he met his wife of four years, he is with Delphi Automotive PLC in Kokomo, Ind., while pursing a master’s in electrical engineering.
55 Shaun Pruitt Fr. Center—A pro player in Czech Republic, China, Greece, Latvia, Mexico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Uruguay, he will play in Puerto Rico this season.
Bruce Weber—Fired from Illinois after the 2011-12 season, Weber was hired at Kansas State where he helped lead the Wildcats to their first Big 12 title since 1977 in his first season.
Wayne McClain—Former state champion coach at Peoria Manual spent a year on Weber’s staff at Kansas state before returning to Champaign as head boys’ basketball coach at Champaign Central.
Jay Price—After spending 21 seasons as an assistant at Oklahoma, Purdue and Illinois, Price recently took a job an associate director of development at the UI school of business.
Tracy Webster—Webster left Illinois after the 2006-07 season to join Billy Gillispie’s staff at Kentucky. Today, he’s beginning his third season on staff at Tennessee.
Gary Nottingham—After a year off in Champaign with his family, the former assistant to the head coach is weighing options to return to coaching.
Jimmy Price—The strength and conditioning coach left Illinois last summer to join Weber at Kansas State.
Al Martindale—After 29 years as director of sports medicine and head athletic trainer at Illinois, Martindale retired in the summer of 2012 and remains in the area.