The history of the Illinois basketball program is rich, and that is why it is good to look at who were some of the best players to ever wear that coveted jersey.
There have been some special players wear certain numbers for the Illini. In the last top list, I documented the greatest Illinois basketball players to ever wear the No. 2. This is now the list of the greatest to ever wear the No. 3.
I think most Illinois fans know the top echelon of the list, but there were a few players who could make an argument to be toward the bottom of the list. But I think I have settled on a solid top five.
Here are the top five Illinois basketball players to ever wear the No. 3.
5. Ahmad Starks
- Best: 7.7 pts, 1.6 rebs, 2.2 asts
- Career: 7.7 pts, 1.6 rebs, 2.2 asts
No. 5 on the top five list of the best Illini players to ever wear the No. 3 is Ahmad Starks. There isn’t a huge history of Illinois basketball players wearing this number, but Starks, to me, is in the top five.
After playing three seasons with the Oregon State Beavers, Starks entered the transfer portal to find greener pastures. He picked the Illini and had to sit out a year due to the transfer rules back then.
Starks would finally get to suit up for the Illini during the 2014-15 campaign. This would end up being his lone season with the program, and he would average 7.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game.
Illinois would be a bubble team in Starks’ only season with the team. We would finish 19-12 in the regular season and needed a win in the Big Ten Tournament. Sadly, Michigan beat us by 18 points in the first round.
Starks and the Illini would make the NIT that season only to lose in the first round to Alabama by 21 points. It wasn’t a great ending, but Starks did have a solid year. This earned him the No. 5 spot.