Trying to Keep Up with Jim McIlvaine

Jim McIlvaine is a hard guy to keep up with. The gentle giant is an MU radio announcer, a hot rod photographer & writer, president of a summer camp, a great father and has even appeared in a Hollywood movie. Now he works out with MU's basketball team and has even played in the MU Band for both men's and women's games. Our sportswriter, Pat Barry, caught up with the Multitalented Jimmy Mac..... Most of our readers know that you are an announcer for Marquette men's basketball games; however, can you tell us what other adventures you are into now a days?


Jim McIlvaine:  Well, first I am the President of a youth and family camp called Camp Anokijig.  Camp Anokijig is located in Sheboygan about an hour north of Milwaukee. We have thousands of campers who come up every summer. The camp is open to the public and people can drive up and rent a cabin or a tent. Also, the camp has a traditional youth summer camp that starts in late June and goes through late August. The youth camp is open to kids aged 6 to 17.


Camp Anokijig


Second, I have a blog on ESPN Milwaukee Radio.  On the blog I talk about sports, music and random events such as why postcards are sold without stamps.  There really should be a law that outlaws this.



Third, I also take photos for sports car magazines such as GM High-Tech Performance and Popular Hot-Rod.


Finally, I have two wonderful kids that keep me extremely busy.

Kailey McIlvaine helps her dad cheer on Marquette
 What is your favorite memory of Marquette outside of basketball?


Jim McIlvaine: The friendships that I made at Marquette.  The relationships that I made in college are invaluable and have given me a great set of friends.  The people you meet at Marquette are life long friends, not just people you meet in passing. What Marquette basketball memory stands out the most in your mind?


Jim McIlvaine: I don't know if there is one event, everyone talks about the sweet 16 and beating Kentucky,  but I think for me it is playing for Kevin O'Neill and being part of how he built up the program again.  Kevin did a great job of changing mind sets at the school and the community while he was here. Who was the toughest college player that you have ever had to defend?


Jim McIlvaine: For me, it really wasn't one player, but the teams that were short.  I always struggled against guys that were 6'6 and pulled me out from underneath the basket.  In those games I always seemed to end up on the bench. What would you say to recruits that are considering Marquette?


Jim McIlvaine: I don't think there is just one idea on why recruits should come to Marquette.  First off, if I am a top big guy in the nation, you have to look at this school because Marquette has developed some top guards who can really up a big guy's game.  I never really understood when I was getting recruited how much a great set of guards can really help a big guy.  I don't know why more big guys aren't looking at Marquette.  Tom Crean has done a great job of developing guards while at Marquette.  Another big reason why recruits should consider Marquette is the Al McGuire Center and Humphrey Hall.  These are great facilities. So is there any true to you being in the movie Shallow Hal and if so what was it like to work with Jack Black?


Jim McIlvaine: Yeah that's true.  Jack Black really isn't much of an actor.  What you see on screen is exactly how he is in real life.  As for how I got in the movie, I am a huge fan of the Farrelly brothers and I have seen all of their movies, so one day I wrote them a fantastic letter knowing that they put athletes in their films and I asked them to be in a movie.  Next thing I know I got a call from the Farrlley brothers asking me to be in Shallow Hal.  The Farrlley brothers were great guys who are huge Providence fans oddly enough.


Jimmy Mac the Actor?  Do you have any good Kevin O'Neill stories for us?


Jim McIlvaine: Well, before he came to Marquette he picked up a recruit wearing a monkey suit.  As for Marquette stories, he was a really clever guy when it came to recruiting, such as when I came to Marquette, he got all the players to wear Jim McIIvaine masks and got all of the freshman in McCormick Hall to sign a banner asking me to come to Marquette.  He was a great salesman.  Is there any college player out there right now that reminds you a lot of yourself?


Jim McIlvaine: Not really, they're all better than me,  but I think it would be great if guys like Kevin Durant and Tyler Hansbrough stick around for a few more years because it helps out the schools and college basketball.  I mean, look at how the Final Four of 2003 helped out Marquette.  What one team besides Marquette are you predicting to win the National Championship?


Jim McIlvaine: I like North Carolina and Roy Williams.  He can just flat out coach and recruit. They are just straight up tough to beat. Favorite Al McGuire story…


Jim McIlvaine: I really don't have a lot of Al McGuire stories since he wasn't around a lot when I was here. I think he kept his distance because didn't want to cast a huge shadow on the program.  The one story that sticks with me is when Al came up to me convinced that I had red-shirted my freshman year. He asked me repeatedly about being red shirted.


Besides that story, another great quote I heard from Al was, "Don't let basketball use you, you use basketball". This is great advice that I used to help me decide when to retire from the game of basketball. Is there anything you want to add?


Jim McIlvaine: Please wear gold to the games. There is no reason people can't do it.  It needs to be the point that if you show up to the Marquette games not wearing gold, you are the odd ball.  It really adds to the environment to see a sea of gold at the games. Thanks for your time.


Jim McIlvaine: Any time.



**Pat Barry is a senior majoring in Accounting.

Marquette Hoops Top Stories