Top of the Morning, Feb. 13, 2019

Introducing JULIA GREUEL, a junior at the University of Illinois and the next president of Illini Pride, the student organization that supports sports of all sorts.

Top of the Morning, Feb. 9, 2019

It's not quite as big as, say, State Farm Center, but JESSE NAUMAN's "Illini Room" in the basement of his house in Granville takes up serious space.

"At some point, it became an obsession," the 41-year-old UI grad said of his memorabilia collection. "I'm just about out of room."

Jock Jams 2019

Jock Jams 2019 at Foellinger Auditorium on UI campus in Urbana on Monday, Jan. 29, 2019. The event benefitted Feed Our Kids, Childhood Leukemia Foundation, Athletes Against Anxiety and Depression and the Luke Tatsu Johnson Foundation.

Holzman named Gatorade National Player of the Year

NEW ORLEANS — Ellie Holzman admits she should have known something big was coming. The film crew at her house Wednesday morning should have been a clue. Her aunt in town from New Jersey — for what her parents told her was a conference — another.

Asmussen | This time, let's keep these resolutions

Ahhh, New Year's resolutions ... aka promises made to be broken.

Let's start with the basics: eat better and exercise more.

Turns out not all vegetables are gross, especially if you add the proper amount of cheese and bacon. A plate of broccoli shouldn't cause me nightmares.

Everything in moderation. Yes, pizza is the best food ever. But you don't need it for every meal.

Looking back at the area's best sports moments of 2018

With 2018 coming to a close today, The News-Gazette sports staff spotlights the top 10 stories that defined the last 12 months of area athletics:

UPDATE: Illini 'best fit' for STM star

CHAMPAIGN — Rumors started swirling in late November that Mica Allison was leaving Auburn.

That her potential transfer destination was going to be Illinois wasn’t too far behind on the rumor mill.

How that word got out, Allison isn’t sure.

But it did lead to a funny first conversation with Illinois coach Chris Tamas once he gave her a call.

Tamas hopes national success draws recruits to Illini

CHAMPAIGN — Jordyn Poulter committed to Illinois in July 2012. Sure the Aurora, Colo., native had some family ties to the state and was leaning the Illini’s direction since she was 12 years old, but the fact Illinois had played for a national championship just seven months prior didn’t necessarily hurt.

Illini volleyball puts final stamp on historic season

CHAMPAIGN — A new Final Four banner will be raised to the Huff Hall rafters at some point in the next year. If the crowds from the final month of the now complete 2018 season are any indication, that ceremony will take place in front of a packed house.

UI Volleyball Welcome Home

The welcome home reception for the Illini volleyball team at Huff Hall on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2018.