All posts by Astasia Williams

Road to glory not always easy for Northwestern’s Scottie Lindsey

By Astasia Williams

SALT LAKE CITY – Scott “Scottie” Lindsey has helped Northwestern men’s basketball write the most important chapter in program history. But Lindsey’s own story hasn’t always been a fairy tale.

The Hillside, Illinois, native was a three-star recruit from Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois. Now he’s an All-Big Ten player and a weapon who can destroy any opposing defense with his reverse layups or smooth 3-point shot. Going from wildcard underclassman to second leading scorer for the Wildcats’ first-ever NCAA Tournament team, things have gone uphill for Lindsey. But adversity almost prematurely ended his magical season when he came down with mononucleosis during Big Ten play.

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Hey, Wildcats, may we have this dance?

By Astasia Williams

For the Northwestern men’s basketball team, it had been seven decades of being a bridesmaid. On Sunday afternoon, the Wildcats finally became the bride. March Madness was born in Evanston, Illinois, but the last time Northwestern University was associated with the NCAA Tournament was in 1939 when it hosted the first Final Four on campus at Patten Gym.

Approximately 2,000 fans gathered on Sunday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena to watch 78 years of disappointment come to an end. At around 5 p.m., the Wildcats accomplished the once unthinkable: they were announced as the No. 8 seed in the West region. Northwestern will face No. 9 seed Vanderbilt at approximately 3:30 p.m. ET Thursday in Salt Lake City.

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College athletes learn to ask for help with mental health

By Astasia Williams

On Jan 9, 2017, the Northwestern women’s basketball team endured a tragedy with one of their own. Jordan Hankins, a 19-year-old sophomore from Indianapolis, died by suicide. Hankins was on the pre-med fast track and a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. The reasoning for Hankins’s suicide has not been made public.

Her death is the latest example of the need to address mental health challenges among college athletes and treat the issues more extensively.
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Dramatic win propels Northwestern toward March Madness

By Astasia Williams

Hail Mary. Program-record 21 wins. March Madness.

The first day of March lived up to its nickname at Welsh-Ryan Arena as Northwestern took down Michigan in a cinematic fashion Wednesday night. Now may be the time for Evanston, Illinois, to put on its dancing shoes for the NCAA tournament.

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Northwestern women’s basketball tries to recapture spark

By Astasia Williams

Once you’re hot, it’s important to keep the fire burning.

The Northwestern women’s basketball team looked to be a shoo-in for an NCAA tournament berth after going 6-4 in the first 10 conference games.

The Wildcats have been in a drought since an eight-day break following a Jan. 17 victory over Michigan State, going just 2-4 since that win. Thursday’s loss against Minnesota was their third consecutive loss and surely not helpful for their hopes to go dancing in March.

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Northwestern hopes for some ‘SavageCats17’ on defense

By Astasia Williams

Meet the new Northwestern Wildcats. Or #SavageCats17, as they have been dubbed by @NUFBFamily, the Wildcats’ twitter feed.

The Wildcats officially added 24 newcomers Tuesday: 17 high school scholarship players, one graduate transfer, and six preferred walk-ons. There already are two early enrollees on campus.

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said there was an emphasis on defense for this year’s class.

Here is a look at some of the top players.
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Despite ranking, Northwestern is sticking to the script

By Astasia Williams

Nothing has changed in the Brown Family Basketball Center. The balls are still orange rubber; The ‘N’ logo is still large and purple at center court. The practice jerseys are still the same.

And there still is no talk of the NCAA tournament.

“We never talk about the NCAA Tournament. We talk about the next game,” said coach Chris Collins Tuesday. “That’s not just coach speak. We talked about it at the beginning of the year. What were are our goals? To be good enough, to be in that mix at the end of the year.”
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The formula of Curie’s Terry Smith Jr.

By Astasia Williams

It’s two hours before game time at Curie High School. There’s one player shooting from the three-point line and 10 more under the hoop fighting for the rebound. Another player sits on the bleachers with his head bowed, blasting the new J. Cole song False Prophets through his Beats headphones.

During the holiday break, all of Curie’s the legal-age players went to get tattoos. Smith remains without one. “His parents don’t play that,” coach Mike Oliver said.

“I like to stay in my own zone,” Smith said. “Staying humble and not taking things for granted is something my father preaches to me constantly.”

Smith is unique and successful both on the court and in the classroom. He’s one of Curie’s most productive players and also an A student. Tackling honors classes and helping lead a defending state championship team may seem like an abundance of work, but Smith gets it all done.

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The World Series champs now reside on Clark and Addison, but what’s next?

By Astasia Williams

When the clock struck noon Friday, the madness and celebration began.

Lines are cluttered with ecstatic fans dressed in their favorite Cubs players’ jerseys and other team merchandise. People are waiting and talking with other fans, taking photos, and reading books to pass the time until check-in begins at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel.

“Mom, you’re the MVP,” one kid told his mom, who let him skip school to attend the 2017 Cubs Convention.

A young boy runs to his mom from the autograph signing booth waving his smartphone.

“I got the photo, I got the photo,” said Wrigley, an 8-year-old fan running from the autograph signing table to show his mom.

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