New UIC Baseball Stadium

New UIC Baseball Stadium

While a new stadium will revolutionize UIC Baseball, the greater impact will be the association with CPS, the Chicago Baseball Academy and several underprivileged youth leagues that estimate impacting 16,000-20,000 inner city kids each year.

Attached is a link to the progress of the new stadium in your own backyard!

Howard Moore Basketball Camps Right in the Neighborhood

The 2013 Howard Moore Basketball Camps are now open for registration. Moore and his coaching staff will host three camps, including a shooting camp, a day camp and an advanced skills camp. All sessions will be held at the Flames Athletic Center or Physical Education Building, located within walking distance of the UIC campus.

These camps are the perfect summer activity for kids of different ages to stay active, healthy and improve their skills for basketball. All levels of skills are welcome. 

For more information on the types of camp, click the link: Coach Howard Moore Basketball Camps. Or contact Jeremy Buttell at, or Director of Basketball Operations Drew Slempkes at












UIC Joe Esposito Community Day Basketball Game

ImageThe UIC men’s basketball team is still Climbing to the Top of the Horizon League this season and wants to extend an invitation for all members of the community to come out, enjoy some Division-I basketball, and honor a great former member of the community. The Flames are 9-2 at home and are looking to build some momentum into the post season.

On February 23rd, UIC takes on Bradley University at 3 PM at the UIC Pavilion. During the game, we will be celebrating the life of community leader, Joe Esposito.

Tickets for the game are only $5 (normally an $18 ticket) and kids 3 and under are free.

To purchase your tickets, just call 312.413.1911 or email


The Journey of Howard Moore


It’s fun to say around UIC, so I’ll say it again…8-1.

Howard Moore Head Coach

That’s the record of the UIC men’s basketball team lead by Coach Howard Moore. It has been an awesome start to the season and something that the University and Community can use to rally around. But this post isn’t about getting people to the Pavilion to see these guys play, its about the journey that relates to this community: the journey of Howard Moore.

Howard Moore came home to coach for UIC. While he played at Wisconsin and coached all over the midwest, he was always a Chicago kid that wanted to come home and be part of the community that he grew up in. And his opportunity at UIC fell right in his old back yard.

Howard grew up in “the Village” right off the corner of Racine and Maxwell. He knew this area and the UIC campus like the back of his hand. This was his home and where his journey started; more importantly, it is what drives him now. One of Howard’s biggest passions is being out in the community. It is why you constantly see the men’s team working with the Marcy Newberry Association, its why you see the coaches going to schools in the area, its why you see thousands of inner city groups brought to the Pavilion to enjoy a UIC game each and every year.

This is Howard’s home and he is proud of it. He was a kid from the neighborhood that went on to play college basketball and found passion in teaching his lessons to college athletes. And the success is starting to trickle down and count for victories on the court. 8-1 has a nice ring to it.

There are starting to be a lot of articles on Howard and his rise to success, but here is one that highlights the career change that he went through to get to UIC:

UIC Sports Updates

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks here on campus at UIC and I forget to share all the good news of the games that happen around here.

The UIC Volleyball team went all the way to the Horizon League Championship game this weekend against the home town team of Cleveland State. It came down to the last few points and we came up just a bit short. But with a young team, solid coaches, and a recruiting class that is out of this world, UIC looks to be positioned as the favorite for the 2013 season. Should be fun to be a part of it and it all happens right in your back yard at the Flames Athletic Center!

On an even more positive note, our men’s basketball team is off to its best start in the last 5 years with a 3-1 record heading into the next wave of games. With so many close games, this team is going to make things very interesting on the court at the Pavilion. Exciting college basketball in Chicago can really help bring a community together and after so many years of struggling, it finally looks like the season where good things will happen around UIC. A big thanks to Nancy Plax for starting the initiative of getting community members out to UIC games to further connect the community. We will be offering specials all season long for our neighbors, so be sure to keep checking the blog.

If you are ever interested in getting involved with UIC Athletics as a spectator, a performer, or looking for some appearances  its only a phone call away. My direct line is 312.413.1911 and I am always looking for ways to connect this department with the people that live in the area.

Other than than, this post was more just the good news of UIC finding ways to win their games and where they fit into the community.

Happy thanksgiving to everyone in the C4C community!


UIC Basketball to offer “Community Day”.

There is a Division-I college basketball team that plays right in the neighborhood that most families never know about.

As Connecting4Communities grows, UIC Athletics want to support the families and neighbors here in the area. So, we are offering a special “Community Night” where we discount tickets for anyone living in the C4C neighborhoods.


Tickets are only $5 a piece (normally an $18 ticket) and kids 3 and under are free.

For more information, just call 312.413.1911 or email

Ryan Ptak – UIC Athletic Department

Ryan is the Assistant Athletic Director at the UIC Athletic Department, where he has been working since 2005. He oversees marketing, tickets, game operations, community relations, and the spirit squads. With his position at UIC, Ryan wants to work with C4C to help establish a connection to the neighborhood families and the opportunities that are right in their backyard.

Over the past year, Ryan and the athletic department have worked closely with Nancy Plax to set up events for the community to provide the chance to enjoy some Division I athletics. UIC offers 19 varsity sports and offers several “Community Days” that are open to the neighborhood at little to no cost.  For more information on those type events, be sure to check out

Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois and a master’s degree from Northwestern. 

While once a renter in University Commons, Ryan and his fiance, are in the process of buying in University Village to become a permanent fixture in the C4C area.