PEORIA (WCIA) — Several former Illini are getting the chance to wear the Orange and Blue again this weekend — the House of ‘Paign will tip off for the first game of the The Basketball Tournament tomorrow in Peoria.
The Illinois alumni team arrived in town this week for practice, although they were without their returning guard Andres Feliz. The former Illini is still at home in the Dominican Republic, with issues with his visa. There has been no official status on Feliz yet.
Feliz helped lead their TBT debut last season — where they were the No. 16 seed and knocked off the defending champions, Carmen’s Crew. Former Illini Brandon Paul played for that team, but will now suit up for the Illini. Several new additions to the roster this year include Rayvonte rice, and Kipper Nichols.
“A lot of these guys I watched them I didn’t get a chance to lace them up with a couple of these guys, but I know them just from being in Champaign in the summer and playing open gyms,” sauys Nichols.
“My dream school was the U of I,” says Rice. “And to come in here and represent these colors and my school — there’s nothing better.”
“This is kind of that home base if you will, and we hope to kind of build this out for the next few years,” says general manager Mike LaTulip. “It’s something Illini fans can watch or attend, and I think that’s really cool.”
House of ‘Paign is the No. 2 seed in the Illinois regional. They face No. 15 seed Jackson Underdawgs on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT at the Peoria Civic Center.