Boys Basketball

Boys Basketball

Best of Fred: No. 50

Retiring executive sports editor Fred Kroner has seen a lot in his 34 years at The News-Gazette. Each Sunday until his last day, he'll share his best stories. This week:

Your questions, Kroner's answers

What does the addition of the four Peoria schools mean for the Big 12?

The 11-member conference (for all sports except football) is as close to 12 as at any time in the past two decades.

In some sports, the additions will raise the league’s prestige.

Kroner: One final ride

My mother’s words are soothing and haunting.

“Be careful what you wish for.”

It’s a phrase she said often. Usually, the comment would come about the second day of summer vacation when her only child mentioned how anxious he was for another school year to start. Life was boring in the country when the closest neighbor child lived a mile away.

Simpson moving on after basketball

On a sweltering late-July Saturday in his hometown, Jay Simpson enters the Park Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church not knowing what to expect.

Surrounded by scores of family and friends, Simpson and girlfriend Karidia Shelby participate in a dedication ceremony for their son, Kye, born July 2.

“I’ve never been to a dedication ceremony before,” Simpson said.

PBL ponders Okaw Valley invitation

The invitation Paxton-Buckley-Loda athletic director John Overstreet was expecting came.

With the Okaw Valley Conference losing Maroa-Forsyth to the Sangamo Conference in two years, PBL was the target to fill that void, and Overstreet said PBL received the official invite Monday afternoon to join the conference for the 2016-17 school year.

Preps of summer: News you might have missed

School might not be in session, but news isn’t hard to come by. Here are a few headlines you might have missed during summer break, courtesy staff writer SCOTT RICHEY:

Getting the talent back

SAVOY — Kendall Gill emerged from his black sport utility vehicle, shaking hands, posing for pictures and sharing hugs with fans and old friends.

The main attraction at Monday’s 25th Cunningham Children’s Home golf outing at the University of Illinois Golf Course, Gill didn’t mince words when the topic turned basketball.

Younger Finke's Just getting started

CHAMPAIGN — Letters from college basketball coaches continue to fill the mailbox at the Finke household in southwest Champaign.

But they’re no longer addressed to Michael Finke, the oldest of Jeff and Laura’s three sons who is working out at Illinois in preparation for the start of his college career.

In his words

We asked Fisher’s Josh Wallick what high school sports meant to him:

High school athletics helped mold me as an individual. Creating a personal identity for yourself in high school is important because it changes how you interact with others in high school.

Preps year in review

TEAMS OF THE YEAR