A word to the wise for future Illini student-athletes, from a 2015 alum who was a golfer in college and now represents them for a living:
“The biggest thing I would pass along from my time there is to be sure to have a nice balance between academics/athletics and social life. Don’t spend too much time in Kam’s or Red Lion, but also don’t spend too much time inside Gies or the UGL; enjoy and make the most of everything in Champaign while you’re there.”
It’s a formula that worked for Alex Burge, who earned his bachelor’s degree in business management/entrepreneurship and his master’s in sport management, then joined fellow former Illini Mark Steinberg’s Excel Sports Management shop.
Among the stops on his trip down memory lane:
— The Demirjian and Lauritsen/Wohlers golf facility. “The time spent with teammates, Coach (Mike) Small, Coach (Zach) Barlow and all of the staff at the golf facility gave us all lifetime relationships. Some great championships were built there and some tough losses were fixed there — definitely some solid trash talking, too.
“The Lauritsen/Wohlers outdoor facility also is special to myself and a few teammates since we ‘grew up’ with it — when we first started at school, it was an empty field with garbage cans as targets. It’s now one of the most spectacular golf facilities in the country.”
— Campustown. “Of course, the hard work always required a little celebrating. I was certainly more of a Joe’s or Red Lion guy than Kam’s — although I did meet my fiancée at Kam’s ...”