James Augustine back in Champaign


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illini basketball great James Augustine returned to Champaign on Saturday for Illinois’ game against Arizona State. The last time he stepped foot in the State Farm Center was when he was wearing an Illinois jersey.

Augustine played for the Illini from 2002-2006, and played a big role in Illinois’ Final Four run in 2005. Illinois’ all-time career rebounds leader was a second round pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, playing or two seasons with the Orlando Magic. He then spent the next decade playing professionally overseas in both Russia and Spain.

“It’s exciting, it’s the first game back like I said, and especially the Arizona game — Arizona is good this year, Illinois is good this year, so I’m just excited to come back and feel the atmosphere and see how it is,” said Augustine. “The intensity, the defense obviously sets the tone always, the veterans they have, with Kofi in there in the middle, he’s my favorite obviously , but the team is just so much better, year after year and get better throughout the season.”

Augustine said he’s not playing professionally right now, and is living in Chicago.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.