They had to know this day would one day come. Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa and Kansas State received telephone calls confirming the news that junior, 6-foot-9, 190-pound power forward Michael Finke (Champaign, Ill./Centennial) will play college basketball for his hometown team, John Groce's Illini. He committed Wednesday shortly after a meeting with academic advisors on Illinois' campus.
Finke and his family are as anchored in this community as any family could be. His dad played football and hoops at Illinois and mom is a graduate. Together, they run a real estate operation in Champaign.
"My parents asked me what if a place like North Carolina or Duke would have offered." Finke said. "Honestly, this is where I belong and where I'm comfortable."