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home : sports : sports   February 5, 2016

3/18/2014 10:17:00 AM
Chlum: Broncos for Lily


The Western Michigan men’s basketball team wears “Rally for Lily” T-shirts and wristbands. Head coach Steve Hawkins, who knows Lily’s father Mike from their shared time at Quincy University, sent this photo to the Rosplochs to show support for Lily, who started another round of chemotherapy over the weekend.Submitted photo
+ click to enlarge
The Western Michigan men’s basketball team wears “Rally for Lily” T-shirts and wristbands. Head coach Steve Hawkins, who knows Lily’s father Mike from their shared time at Quincy University, sent this photo to the Rosplochs to show support for Lily, who started another round of chemotherapy over the weekend.
Submitted photo
Kevin Chlum
Sports Editor



With the state of Illinois having no schools in the NCAA Tournament, are you looking for a team to root for this weekend?

How about Western Michigan?

The Broncos, who are the No. 14 seed in the South Region, have taken some time away from basketball to show support for Peru’s Lily Rosploch, who unfortunately just started another round of chemotherapy in Peoria.

WMU head coach Steve Hawkins sent a picture to Lily’s father, Mike, of him, his players and assistant coaches wearing purple, “Rally for Lily” T-shirts and wristbands.

Hawkins knows Mike Rosploch from their overlapped time at Quincy University when Hawkins was an assistant coach while Rosploch was a student. Hawkins later served as Quincy’s head coach before moving to Western Michigan to be an assistant in 2000. He became WMU’s head coach in 2003.

The two have kept in touch over the years through social media.

“They put the T-shirts on and the bracelets — that was a nice gesture,” Rosploch said Monday on the way down to Peoria. “He sent the team picture and said, ‘This gives new meaning to the words, Fight on,’ and he’s right.”

“We’re just excited for them. We’re real happy for them. It was nice they reached out and did that for Lily. We’re real happy about it. We’re grateful.”

Rosploch and his family followed the Broncos through the Mid-American Conference Tournament last week.

WMU, the No. 1 seed in the league tournament, beat No. 2-seeded Toledo 98-77 in the tournament title game to earn the Broncos’ their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2004.

The Broncos survived a scare in the semifinals as they trailed No. 4 Akron by 17 points at halftime before rallying for a 64-60 overtime victory.

“We kept rooting for them every step of the way,” Rosploch said. “They have a pretty big mountain to climb now.”

The Broncos (23-9) will face No. 4-seeded Syracuse (27-5) at 1:45 p.m. Thursday. The game will be seen on CBS.

Rosploch said he and his family hope to follow Hawkins and the Broncos in the Big Dance.

“We’re going to try (to follow the game),” Rosploch said. “I heard them say (Sunday) night on ESPN, ‘Don’t be surprised if Western Michigan knocks off Syracuse.’”

And I’m sure the Broncos will be rooting for Lily.

Kevin Chlum is the NewsTribune Sports Editor. He can be reached at 220-6939, or at sports@newstrib.com.












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