Indiana’s “Big Wes” Martin stands tall in Big Ten and hometown

By Robbie Weinstein Medill Reports Indiana offensive lineman Wes Martin is so strong, Hoosiers safety Jonathan Crawford doesn’t like to watch him lift. In fact, the redshirt senior is the undisputed strongest player on the team. Even among the many towering athletes at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago, Martin stands out. Martin’s former head […]

As on-court product surges, UIC faces fan-support and business challenges

UIC Pavilion

By Robbie Weinstein Medill Reports By Chicago standards, it was a beautiful, balmy day for January 10. Classes at UIC had yet to resume after the holidays, but the 6-10 Flames men’s basketball team hosted Horizon League foe Green Bay. Not surprisingly, fans didn’t pack the 8,000-seat UIC Pavilion. The Flames’ eventual 84-73 win over […]

Amid national crisis, Walter Payton College Prep sets safety example

By Robbie Weinstein Medill Reports As schools nationwide face questions about their security measures, one Chicago public high school might be a model. Walter Payton College Prep, a magnet school on the city’s north side, has hundreds of students come in and out of its doors every day. Despite the school’s well-kept exterior, Payton’s extensive […]

Amid high school walkouts, Chicago college students make voices heard

By Robbie Weinstein Medill Reports Most Chicago colleges and universities joined high schools across the nation in staging walkouts on Wednesday, protesting gun laws and violence in the wake of the Parkland shooting. Students from Northwestern University, Truman College, Malcolm X College, Roosevelt University, Columbia College and the University of Illinois at Chicago participated to […]

Overlooked and underrated, Odiase leads UIC back to relevance

By Robbie Weinstein Medill Reports All alone on one end of an empty UIC Pavilion, Flames center Tai Odiase was working up a sweat. Odiase jumped and tapped a ball against the backboard over and over, finally dunking when a coach in his ear gave him the go-ahead. After a five-second break, he started it […]

Flames tested, confident ahead of Motor City Madness

By Robbie Weinstein Medill Reports Starting at 4 p.m. Sunday at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit, UIC’s season is on the line. The No. 3-seeded Flames take on sixth-seeded Milwaukee in the quarterfinals of Motor City Madness, the Horizon League’s tournament. Historically, the league tournament’s winner has been the only Horizon team given a berth […]

UIC overcomes slow start, holds off Detroit Mercy

By Robbie Weinstein Medill Reports It was a muted reaction for such an eye-popping play. Trailing Detroit Mercy by six in the first half, UIC’s Tarkus Ferguson fed center Tai Odiase for a rim-rattling reverse alley oop out of a timeout. A small home crowd and subdued bench barely reacted to one of the Flames’ […]

Their stars rising, DeRozan and Dinwiddie give back to Compton

By Robbie Weinstein Medill Reports LOS ANGELES – Under sunny skies at Compton’s Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, DeMar DeRozan’s and Spencer Dinwiddie’s distinct paths to the NBA converged for one day. Visiting a class of first-graders Friday, the Compton-bred DeRozan, 28, helped students spell words like “train,” while Dinwiddie assembled an NBA-themed signpost, helping decorate a […]

After cold start, Flames fired up by Ferguson’s return

By Robbie Weinstein Medill Reports The 2017-18 season was supposed to represent a step forward for UIC. Picked third in the Horizon League’s preseason poll, the Flames returned a roster full of talented sophomores who played well as freshmen. But after a 86-51 stomping at the hands of Northern Kentucky on December 30 that sent […]