An indoor practice facility for all Redbird teams was approved by the Board of Trustees in December. A month later, a $3 million gift commitment that allows construction of the $11.5 million project to go forward was received.
Entrepreneur Dee Miller, his wife Sheila Marshall-Miller ’94, and former Illinois State student-athlete and professional football player Amin Babjide (B. J.) Bello made the pledge.
“We are incredibly grateful to Dee, Sheila, and B. J. for their commitment to our student-athletes and the indoor practice facility,” Director of Athletics Kyle Brennan said. “Their gift will enhance the student-athlete experience while providing every opportunity to win championships. This is another significant milestone in our efforts to elevate ISU Athletics to new heights.”Appears In
Miller is a managing partner of 360 Sports Group and the founder and CEO of The Linq Up LLC, a social media app for people of faith. An established record producer and songwriter, he was senior vice president of global promotions and marketing for Media Arts Entertainment.
Marshall-Miller earned a degree in elementary education. She is a business owner and award-winning educator of more than 25 years, having served as an elementary and middle school teacher, reading coach, and reading specialist.
“It’s important to Sheila and me that we continue to share our blessings,” Miller said. “This is just the beginning of our commitment to continue the good work already started by so many before us. Our goal is to help Illinois State be competitive with every university in the world, in every area.”
Bello is also a managing partner of 360 Sports Group and a linebacker for the Tennessee Titans. He played at ISU in 2016, earning Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer Team honors before beginning a professional football career.
“For ISU Athletics to put me in a position to continue my football career at the professional level, it’s important for me to give back and provide resources to help put those after me in a position to achieve their goals as well,” Bello said.
The heated, fabric air dome, shown above as a rendering, will be located north of Horton Field House and have a 100-yard practice football field.
The facility will ease congestion for ISU teams using Horton as an indoor practice area and will be available to community groups. Construction is set to begin this spring.