Thursday, August 4, 2011
Illinois, W.V. to scrimmage in Italy
By Scott Powers
Illinois and West Virginia will scrimmage while visiting the Aviano Air Base in Italy next month.
The teams will visit the air base on Aug. 17 and will hold a children's basketball clinic, have a dunk contest and scrimmage against military personnel. The day will conclude with the two schools scrimmaging in two 10-minutes halves, which the NCAA has permitted.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to visit the Aviano Air Base and thank the outstanding men and women who are serving there," Illinois coach Bruce Weber said in a statement. "Participating in the youth clinic and scrimmages should provide a fun and rewarding experience for everyone. We're grateful the NCAA has granted a waiver for our team to partner with West Virginia for this special event, so that we can recognize and show our appreciation of the dedicated service of the U.S. Armed Forces."
Illinois went 20-14 last season and reached the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament. The Illini graduated four senior starters and Jereme Richmond departed the program after one season. Their incoming recruiting class was ranked No. 11 by ESPN.
West Virginia went 21-12 and also reached the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament last season. The Mountaineers graduated three of their top five scorers. Their incoming recruiting class was ranked No. 25 by ESPN.