We asked a few Illini sports greats what they remember most about the day they said “I do” to C-U. Here’s Jenna Smith, who arrived at Illinois in 2006 as a highly touted prospect from Bloomington, Minn., and left four years later as the program’s all-time leading scorer (2,160) and rebounder (1,217).
“The day I knew I was going sign with Illinois was amazing. I loved the family atmosphere with the Illinois women’s basketball program,” then led by Theresa Grentz.
“When I was there, it just felt right. The staff didn’t just care about me as a basketball player, they cared about me as a young lady wanting to grow.
“No one knew about my decision but me. I did not want anyone or anything influencing my decision.
“My parents and AAU coach, Willie Taylor, were around for visits and talks but I just went with my gut.
“When I officially signed the letter of intent to come to Illinois, I had an orange and navy Illinois T-shirt on and jeans. I was sitting next to my best friend in our high school, who was signing her letter to play at Denver.”