Serving as Illini basketball team manager provides “once-in-a-lifetime experience” for BSIS student

John Kramer holding a basketball

When the Fighting Illini men's basketball team played in the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament this spring, BSIS student John Kramer was on the sidelines for each game—not simply as a fan but as a team manager. This is the second year that Kramer, a sophomore from Huntley, Illinois, has served in this role.

"My whole life I grew up watching Illinois basketball because of my mom (Laura Kramer), who went here and is the main reason I chose the U of I," he said. "After high school, I knew I wanted to stay involved in basketball, even though I didn't want to keep playing."

As a manager, Kramer took care of the team's laundry, helped with on-court player workouts, and watched footage of opposing teams' games, analyzing the opposing players and coding/breaking down the film for the coaches.

"Working with the team has been an unbelievable experience. I am grateful that I get to share it with a great group of managers," he said.

Managing schoolwork and basketball hasn't been easy but has been worth it. Kramer "definitely" plans to serve as a manager again next year.

"My favorite memory from this basketball season was the entire post season experience, starting with the Big Ten Tournament and ending with the Elite Eight. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I wouldn't have passed up for anything," he said.

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