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    Fighting Illini Gear Up For Ultimate Basketball Challenge
    Last year's UBC attracted more then 1,000 fans.

    Last year's UBC attracted more then 1,000 fans.

    April 13, 2009

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois men's and women's basketball teams and wheelchair basketball teams are set to participate in the fourth annual Ultimate Basketball Challenge this Wednesday, April 15 at 6 p.m. at Huff Hall.

    This year's edition of the Ultimate Basketball Challenge is anticipated to be the biggest yet, in a joint effort designed to raise money for the wheelchair basketball programs and Coaches vs. Cancer. Last year, over 1,000 fans turned out to support the event and the UI athletes.

    "Our wheelchair programs have been very successful and this event is great exposure for their teams while also serving as an opportunity to raise funds for Coaches vs. Cancer," Illinois head men's basketball coach Bruce Weber said. "Our guys have had a lot of fun at this event in the past, and it's the last chance of the season for fans to get autographs and give support to our outgoing seniors."

    Fans can still buy tickets for the fun-filled event, which will include an autograph session prior to the game, a raffle and halftime entertainment to go along with the wheelchair basketball game integrating the Illinois varsity teams with the wheelchair teams.

    Tickets for the Ultimate Basketball Challenge are on sale now at the Illinois Athletics Ticket Office or by phone (217-333-3470 or 866-ILLINI-1). Prices are $5 each or $3 each for a group rate of 10 or more people. Tickets will also be on sale at Huff Hall on Wednesday prior to the game.

    "We are all very excited about this event," Illinois head women's wheelchair basketball coach Patty Cisneros said. "The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics has done a great job of helping to get the word out, and we are anticipating a bigger crowd this year. One of the reasons for its success is that Coach Weber and Coach Law have been 100 percent behind the event."

    The doors at Huff Hall will open at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, with all basketball players and coaches available for autographs at the south end of the floor at 5:45 p.m. The Orange Krush, Illinois cheerleaders and pep band will also be on hand to celebrate the event.

    "The Ultimate Basketball Challenge is a great event for a great cause," Illinois head women's basketball coach Jolette Law said. "We are grateful to be a part of it. I have a lot of respect for our wheelchair basketball programs and their level of success."

    Raffle tickets will be available for fans to purchase before and during the game. Items that will be raffled off during the game include autograph basketballs from the Illinois men's and women's varsity basketball teams and wheelchair basketball teams, autographed Ultimate Basketball Challenge T-shirts and an authentic Illinois basketball jersey.

    A celebrity free throw contest will take place at halftime, with Coach Weber, Coach Law, UI President B. Joseph White and Scott Burnsmier of the American Cancer Society scheduled to participate.

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