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CHAMPAIGN — Andre Curbelo is well known for throwing picturesque passes on the basketball court.

Now, the Illinois guard will try his hand tossing a different implement.

The sophomore is slated to throw the ceremonial first pitch for Sunday's MLB game between the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field. According to an Illini press release, Curbelo will be on the mound at 12:55 p.m. ahead of a 1:20 p.m. game start time.

Curbelo will join Illinois football coach Bret Bielema for "Illini Day" at Wrigley. Bielema is scheduled to sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" for Sunday's seventh-inning stretch. Both Curbelo and Bielema will be visible at a pregame party at Brickhouse Tavern as well. That party begins at 11 a.m.

Big man recognized. Sixth-year Illinois football center Doug Kramer is the third team member to earn preseason award recognition.

That came Friday, when Kramer was included on the Rimington Trophy watch list. The award is given annually to the best center in college football. Kramer also was selected for this watch list in 2019.

The Hinsdale native was an All-Big Ten honorable mention pick by media and coaches for the 2020 season. He's started in 37 games over the course of his Illini career.

Kramer joins linebacker Jake Hansen (Bednarik Award) and running back Chase Brown (Doak Walker Award) as Illinois athletes who earned a spot on a preseason award watch list.

Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at clikas@news-gazette.com, or on Twitter at @clikasNG.

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. His email is clikas@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).

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