Click on link below for information on the
2014 Redhawk Holiday Classic:

Redhawk Holiday Classic 2014.pdf


For more information on travel league, please select the 
Programs Tab/Fall Winter Travel Program above.





Schramek Commits to Northern Michigan University

Emily Schramek, a 6 foot shooting guard from Benet Academy, recently committed to play for the Northern Michigan University Wildcats, and Coach Troy Mattson, in the fall of 2015.

Schramek has played three seasons with the Illinois Rockets 17s and had received interest from several DI and DII programs before selecting NMU.  She plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism, so NMU was a perfect fit relative to Emily’s academic and athletic pursuits.

Emily began her basketball career with the Illinois Rockets in 4th grade.  Her grade school Rockets coach Ted Gradel recalls that “Emily demonstrated from a young age that she was not afraid to take—and make—the big shot we needed.”  Coach Gradel remembers quite a few last minute game tying or winning baskets that Emily contributed throughout her grade school years.

“Emily, at one time, was just a spot-up perimeter shooter,” added Drew Ondik, coach of the 17U Illinois Rockets squad.  “Through hard work and dedication, she expanded her game to include the dribble/drive options, and her stock soared among the college coaches who see us play at the summer exposure events.”

The Rockets family is so proud to see “one of our own” come all the way through the Rockets program and realize her dream of playing college basketball.  Congratulations Emily, your dedication and hard work have paid off!

Illinois Rockets 17U (Ondik) Take 6th Place at Music City Madness

Traveling to Nashville, TN for the End-of-Trail Music City Madness NCAA Certified college exposure event on July 22-25, the Illinois Rockets captured 6th Place in the Diamond Division.

After losing a hard fought opening game by seven points, the Rockets plowed through four opponents to win the Consolation Bracket and its 6th Place trophy.  Victories were secured against teams from Tennessee, Dallas – Ft. Worth, Florida and Central Illinois, while that lone defeat came at the hands of a team from Oregon.

The Emily’s --- Schramek and Eshoo --- secured spots on the All-Tournament Team.  Each have been members of the Illinois Rockets 17U squad for three seasons.  Strong performances by all Rockets team members contributed to this very successful showing.

Pictured are: Back Row (L-R):  Emily Schramek, Cece Rapp, Janie McCloughan, Jordan Heberg, Liz Satter and Coach Jim Schramek, Front Row (kneeling – L-R):  Coach Drew Ondik, Katie Claussner, Emily Eshoo and Brooklyn Bachman. Not pictured:  Maddy Johnson


Rockets Guard Emily Eshoo Commits to Bradley!

Emily Eshoo, the 5’9 shooting guard of Benet Academy and the Illinois Rockets, has verbally committed to Bradley University and Head Coach Michael Brooks.

Eshoo had a breakout summer with the Illinois Rockets last year, turning the heads of many college coaches at every event she played in. Her play resulted in offers from about 15 Division I programs including: Cornell, Drake, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Western Michigan, Southeast Missouri State, Fairfield, Bowling Green, and many more. She was limited only by the amount of visits she could actually make.

As a junior at Benet Academy this past season, she averaged over 15 points per game, while regularly guarding the opponent's best player.  One of the major reasons she received so much college interest is the fact that she plays so hard on all 94 feet of the basketball court. She would tell you that defense is as important to her as her offense, if not more important.

Eshoo’s Illinois Rockets coach, Drew Ondik, had this to stay on his star player, “I've had the chance to coach Emily for three years on our Illinois Rockets 17U team, and seeing her growth and improvement each and every summer has been gratifying.  She is a super kid from a great family, who is an excellent student and is very coachable.  She is a potent scorer, with a wide array of scoring options -- dribble penetration, pull-up jumpers and step-backs.  Her work ethic is as high as any player I've ever coached, and college coaches have unanimously admired the energy she brings to the defensive end.  Bradley University is getting a great player and a wonderful young person that I've been fortunate to have the opportunity to know and coach."





Illinois Rockets 17 White Win Pool Play at USJN Mid-America

Merrillville, IN  --The Illinois Rockets 17 White team came out victorious in 3 competitive

games Saturday May 10th to win their pool at the USJN Mid-America Challenge
at The Fieldhouse of Merrillville. Coach Kelsey Stone's team defeated OH
Midwest Takeover 38-31, IL Full Package 41-34, and IL Peoria Jems 53-43 to
capture 1st place. The Rockets were paced by Juliette Vainisi and Allison
Hansen, both named to the Pool All Star Team. The Rockets will be sending 5
teams to St. Louis this weekend of May 17-18th to compete in the USJN
Gateway Challenge.




In The News....Illinois Rockets Show Well at Lady Fire Spring Showcase

Norridge, IL--The Illinois Rockets continued their strong start to the spring showcase season at the Mac Irvin Lady Fire Spring Showcase on April 19-20th.  The Rockets have 6 teams formed at the 13U-17U levels this spring, and those 6 teams have representative athletes from 30 different area high schools.  All 6 teams competed in the Lady Fire Spring Showcase facing outstanding competition from some of the best exposure clubs in the area including IL Lady Lightning, Illinois Wolverines, Illinois Xcitement, Bolingbrook Panthers, Kessel Heat, and the host MI Lady Fire.  Against this strong completion the Rockets teams posted a combined 13-5 record for the weekend.


Rockets 5 Red Girls Win Easter Shootout
The Illinois Rockets 5th grade girls team started their spring 2014 season
with a victory at the Blue Chip Easter Shootout in
Schaumburg. The Rockets
went 3-0 for the day, with wins against The Truth Silver,
Northern Illinois
Hoopers, and Illinois Hoop Dreams.



April 13, 2014 the Illinois Rockets 15U White team played in a loaded pool and captured the USJN Midwest Qualifier Championship defeating the Grand Rapids Sparks from Michigan in overtime 35-32 and finishing with a record of 5-0 over the two day weekend. The Rockets also went on to defeat the WI Randolph Girls Club -15U, IL Meanstreets – 15U, and IL Lady Lightning 15U.

Pictured from left to right: Back row: Coach Cass Rufus, Caylin Rufus, Riley Burr, MaKinzie Dahaan, Paige Bareck, Katie Jaseckas, Coach Terry Lyne. Bottom Row: Grace Hartzman, Clare Moser, Emma Lyne, Morgan Lockridge.



The Illinois Rockets are proud to announce that Erin Bayram has committed to play basketball for the Boston University Terriers in the fall of 2015.

Bayram, a 6’ 2” center from Batavia High School, played for the Illinois Rockets for two summers. Her 2012 summer session was impacted by an ACL tear in her knee during her high school game in December, 2011. She courageously rehabbed her knee and returned to play the final two exposure tournaments in July, 2012. After completing a stellar 2013 spring/summer season with the Rockets, Erin attracted interest from many Division I and Division II colleges, before receiving a full scholarship offer from Boston University.

Coach Drew Ondik described Erin as a “hard worker, excellent teammate and a great leader -- traits that will serve her well at the next level. She’s a great kid from a wonderful family, and it was a joy having her participate in our program.



If you have any additional questions about the program:

Boys Program
Marty Kuta

Girls Program
Ted Gradel 


Mike Jopes


Bob Bray



Mike Bumpus

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