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Thanks for Your Support

by Victor Chukwudebe

How's everyone doing out there in the sports world? This is Victor Onyibo Chukwudebe writing to you for the last time this semester. And boy, has it been an interesting semester's worth of writing. This issue is for the fans. I'd really like to take the time to thank all the true Illini fans today. I really want to let you know that your efforts this year (and it hasn't been easy) are very much appreciated. You've been there from the winning of six in a row to the surrendering of seven in row. You^ve been there from the blown opportunities against George Washington and Ohio State to the thrilling victories over Michigan, Clemson and the unthinkable tragedy in the win against Wisconsin. And for all of these things, I thank you.

An extremely special thanks goes out to perhaps the most exciting people that I know, the Orange Krush. We are talking about a group that, to me, livens up the Assembly Hall more than any Duke, Michigan State, North Carolina or Indiana gymnasium. They are amongst the best in team support. Right now would be a good time to let you all know that your wit on the sidelines is always noticed. These 10 things are the Illini's favorite Orange Krush moments.

1. The chanting of Smokey Okey (always an Illini favorite and seems to always get the job done).
2. The traditional chant after the introduction of the opposing lineup.
3. The team's personal favorite: the yelling of overrated at the opposing team or a player on the opposing team.
4. Go back, Go back to Foot Locker at the officials after a very questionable call.
5. Anything that they say towards Bobby Knight and the Hoosiers.
6. Chu-koo-day-bay (my personal favorite) 7. The chanting of air ball every time a good shooter touched the ball on the opposing team.
8. Rushing the floor after the Wisconsin win, making it impossible for the opposing players to leave without experiencing a taste of our celebration.
9. Giving Northwestern coach O'Neill a taste of his own verbal tongue-lashing.
10. (Last but not least, the most remembered Orange Krush moment of 98-99) The singing of the theme song to the Smurfs during a set of Scoonie Penn free throws.

I just took a moment to let all you Orange Krush members know that nothing that you do goes unnoticed out there. All of the events that I've named previously all help contribute to the overall effectiveness of the games played here at the Assembly Hall. Anyone from previous teams can tell you that we are dealing with a group of fans that have made great strides in showing their support. They show there support by doing everything and anything necessary in order to give their team a better chance of coming out on top. And again, with all of these ideas in mind, we thank you.

Even though the interesting season is yet to be over, I can tell you all that if any other bright moments are to arise following the publication of this column, they will never go unnoticed. To all of the true Illini fans and the Orange Krush, The 1998-99 Illinois men^s basketball team would like to say, Thank you!