(WCIA) — One of the most memorable players to ever wear the Orange and Blue was back in town on Saturday. Two-time All-American dee brown was catching up with fans, and signing autographs today in Mahomet.
The 2005 National Player of the Year helped the Illini reach the NCAA title game that season, and he says watching Illinois get back to the tournament this year was a proud moment for him.
“They was they own team, they had really good players, it was just a good core of talent with Kofi and Ayo,” says Brown. “When your program’s good there’s a lot of names you can say, you just can’t just say Dee Brown, you got to say a lot of different guys, and that’s why I’m a really proud Illini. It’s just hard to win championships, but watching them play was very exciting, and I’m just happy to see Illinois back.”
Dee brown isn’t the only Illini icon to wear number 11, soon the hall of fame guard will be joined in the rafters by fellow Chicago native Ayo Dosunmu.
Dosunmu will turn pro this season as he waits for his name to be called in the 2021 NBA Draft on July 29th. The All-American was the first player in more than a decade to earn a triple-double–and the first to ever do it twice. The program’s last triple-double came from Sergio McClain in 2001, who kept close tabs on the Illini this season.
“When you look back at it, as many good players come through the University of Illinois, and college period, that feat is rarely accomplished at any university, says McClain. “You’re happy for a kid, you understand what he’s going through as a young man, but it just felt good to find a recipe to win, and putting us in position to have some recognition across the nation again.”