Big Ten Icons: Red Grange

It’s an exaggeration, but only a slight one, to describe Red Grange as the “Babe Ruth of College Football.” Grange played only three varsity seasons at the University of Illinois, in the nation’s heartland, while  Ruth was a larger-than-life presence on New York’s Yankees for nearly two decades. He’s credited with rescuing baseball from the throes of a gambling scandal, and there’s no doubt Ruth transformed how the game was played through his unprecedented and prodigious slugging.

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Jantel Lavender's Senior Year

To say that Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender was dominant in her time at OSU would be an understatement.  Lavender became the first men’s or women’s basketball player in conference history to win Player of the Year honors for four consecutive seasons, was selected fifth overall in the 2011 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks, and ended her Buckeye career as the Big Ten’s all-time leading rebounder. She also set an NCAA record for most consecutive games with 10 or more points, scoring in double digits in each of her 136 career games.  Watch now as the BTN cameras followed Jantel around during her senior year in Columbus.

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Listen to "The Journey" theme music

The awarding-winning BTN show “The Journey” is one of most popular shows on our network, and we get plenty of requests for the music. Well, here you go.

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The Buddha of St. John's Basketball

When it comes to Big Ten basketball coaches, Purdue’s Gene Keady is one of the all-time greats.  As a seven-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, Keady’s 512 victories is the most in Purdue history, where he managed to lead the Boilers to two Elite Eight appearances and five Sweet Sixteen appearances in the NCAA Tournament before his retirement.  In 2010,  Keady took a job as an assistant coach with the St. John’s Red Storm.  Watch now and learn why St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin refers to the Purdue legend as his “buddha.”

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Big Ten Icons: Magic Johnson

Sometimes it’s right there in front of you. Struggling to find the right word to describe freshman Earvin Johnson’s play in a 36-point, 18-rebound performance for Lansing Everett High School, Lansing State Journal sportswriter Fred Stabley Jr. settled on “Magic.” The choice could not have been more appropriate. Over the next 20 years, Earvin “Magic” Johnson would become one of the most celebrated and accomplished basketball players in the world, first at Michigan State University, then for the Los Angeles Lakers. “Magic” — the one-word handle became as distinctive as “Pele” or “Ali,” applicable to one man only and a metaphor for both an infectious style of play and unfailingly positive results. Magic Johnson had a unique gift for making the players around him better, leaving championships in his wake wherever he competed.

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Big Ten Icons: Jesse Owens

Thousands of athletes have distinguished themselves and earned acclaim for their schools in the storied 114-year history of the Big Ten Conference, but no individual’s accomplishments cast a larger shadow than those of Jesse Owens. In 1936, three years before the world went back to war, his fleet feet and indomitable spirit struck a telling blow against Adolph Hitler’s plans for worldwide Nazi domination.

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Big Ten Icons: Archie Griffin

It stands to reason that running backs would be distinguished citizens at Ohio State University, where “three yards and a cloud of dust” was the unquestioned football mantra through the storied Woody Hayes Era and for at least a few years on either side of it. Archie Griffin is the most distinguished of those citizens.

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