He didn’t get the cheers that Jenna Smith or Lacey Simpson did but wherever the Illini women’s basketball stars went last decade, it’s a good bet Auggie Sandri was close behind.
Such is the life of a student manager, a role the future Milwaukee Brewers major league video coordinator played gleefully for all four of his years on campus.
"When I think about my time at the University of Illinois, the place that is first to rush back into my head isn’t the iconic Alma Mater statue or the beautiful landscape of the Quad. That first memory is always from the Ubben Basketball Practice Facility," Sandri says.
"It feels like I spent more hours in the building than not as a four-year student manager for the women’s basketball team. Ubben became my home away from home. — from practices at the crack of dawn to late nights after games at the Assembly Hall, we student managers were always there.
"We may have even spent some nights sleeping on the couches in the lounge after long evenings of video breakdown.
"The more time I spent there, the more I began to appreciate it. That building and the people I shared time with there were the biggest constants during my years at Illinois.
"Big exam, then off to practice at Ubben.
"Long night on Green Street and a few hours of sleep, then off to practice at Ubben.
"Watch everyone go home for break, then off to practice at Ubben.
"It served as a workplace with the team, a social hub with my fellow managers and a relaxation spot for a late-night hoop-shooting study break. And it served as the venue for what would ultimately be the first step toward my current career in professional sports.
"I still speak with my fellow student managers on a regular basis, and we always reminisce about our college days, and speak fondly of our time spent with the team at Ubben."