Random Hawlight: Ayo Dosunmu’s big night in Champaign

WGN News Now

CHAMPAIGN – One of the great things that an athlete gets to have when thet experience success at a certain stop is to be able to return and accept praise from those whom he or she inspired.

Ayo Dosunmu got that chance at State Farm Arena on Thursday evening.

The jersey number of former Illinois player Ayo Dosunmu, now with the Chicago Bulls, is retired during halftime of Illinois’ NCAA college basketball game against Maryland on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Michael Allio)

Chicago native, former Morgan Park High School star, and current Chicago Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu was honored at the State Farm Center for his achievements over the course of three seasons as a player for the University of Illinois.

The two-time All-Big Ten first-team selection and 2021 first team All-American had his jersey raised to the rafters of the Illini’s home arena, becoming the 34th player in the history of the men’s basketball program to receive the honor.

Chicago Bulls guard and former Illinois basketball player Ayo Dosunmu stands on the court before retiring his Illini jersey during halftime as Illinois plays host to Maryland at the State Farm Center on Thursday Jan. 6, 2022, in Champaign, Illinois. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The halftime ceremony was not only witnessed by Dosunmu’s friends and his family, but also his teammate DeMar Derozan, who attended the ceremony to show support for the Bulls’ rookie.

CHAMPAIGN, IL – JANUARY 06: Former Illinois player and current Chicago Bulls point guard Ayo Dosunmo and his family during a ceremony to raise his jersey to the rafters during halftime of a college basketball game between the Maryland Terrapins and Illinois Fighting Illini on January 6, 2022 at the State Farm Center in Champaign, IL. (Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

On top of that, Dosunmu’s big night came during a successful one for his former team, as Illinois rallied from a halftime deficit to beat Maryland 76-64 to improve to 4-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since the 2009-2010 season.

Center Kofi Cockburn continued his great season with another double-double – getting 23 points and 18 rebounds. That included an incredible second half where he had 16 points and 15 rebounds to keep the Illini undefeated in the Big Ten.

Larry Hawley featured this moment in his “Random Hawlight” for this week. You can watch that segment from WGN News Now in the video above.

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