Don’t look now; college basketball’s official start is less than a month away! This is my 2nd favorite time of year behind summer, even though we were robbed of one this year in Chicago!
Football season is in full swing and the anticipation and optimism of every college basketball program is at it’s highest. The freshmen are becoming acclimated to life on campus and starting to see how they’re coach really is as compared to the nice man that recruited them.
Preseason conditioning has started as teams prepare for the physical grind of the upcoming season. Some teams have two-per-day workouts. They have individual workouts in the mornings and team workouts in the afternoons. I have my own routine that I normally go through to prepare for the upcoming season, similar to when I played.
This preseason I’m hitting the road early! I’m still getting my workouts in 4 – 5 times per week but I’ve stepped up my travel regime because of “The Flyin’ Illini” book tour. I’m at the midway point of a 23-city book tour and I am loving every minute of it!
I’m here to report that the Illini nation is alive and well across the country. Some of the tour cities include New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles as well as many cities in Illinois like Charleston, Decatur, Genoa, and Carbondale just to name a few. The love and passion of Illini fans is consistent. For me it’s similar to a family reunion every stop I’ve made. We all have a shared interest in the program and a love for that 1989 Flyin’ Illini team. For me, being an ambassador for that team and the program as a whole has been one of my professional highlights to date.
So check the schedule below and if you’re in or near one of the upcoming stops make sure to come out and bring other Illini or college basketball fans with you. I guarantee you will enjoy the experience.
Flyin’ Illini Book Tour
Phoenix Illini Club – 5/29
Jacksonville Library – 6/14
New York Illini Club – 6/19
Decatur Illini Club – 8/5
Bourbonnais Library – 8/19
Danville Boys and Girls Club – 8/21
Paris Library – 8/26
Pinckneyville Library – 8/28
Carbondale Boys and Girls Club – 8/29
Genoa Library – 9/3
Effingham Library – 9/9
San Francisco Illini Club – 9/13
Charleston Library – 9/16
Highland Park Library – 9/18 7pm
Orange County Illini Club – 9/20 – Phoenix Club in Anaheim, CA 6pm
Pontiac Library – 9/23 7pm
Washington DC Illini Club – 9/25 6pm-8pm – DC Coast Restaurant
Galesburg Library – 9/30 – 6:30pm – 7:45pm
Morris Library – 10/4 – 2pm
East Peoria Library – 10/6 – 7pm
Portland Illini Club – 10/12 – Claremont Clubhouse 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Rockford Big Ten Alumni – 10/13 – Rockford Country Club 5:30pm – 8:00pm
West Suburban Illini Club – 10/21 – 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Get more info on upcoming dates by clicking the event page or HERE.
Stephen Bardo is a college basketball commentator for the Big Ten Network and Fox 1 Sports. He’s also a highly sought after leadership speaker in the youth and corporate markets. For more information go to www.stephenbardo.com or call (312) 869-9757.