UIC extends partnership with Chicago Baseball and Educational Academy

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Curtis Granderson Stadium, home of UIC’s baseball program, also hosts Chicago youth baseball programs during the summer. (Photo: AJ Schraffenberger)

The UIC Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Chicago Baseball and Educational Academy, founded by former Flame and three-time Major League Baseball All-Star Curtis Granderson, have extended their partnership through 2029.

UIC will continue to serve as the home for the academy and will annually host more than 10,000 Chicagoland youth on its campus, including at the state-of-the-art Curtis Granderson Stadium — the 10-year home of the Flames’ baseball program — and at the Flames Indoor Turf Field. The partnership also will help the Chicago Baseball and Educational Academy provide high-quality baseball education and mentoring programs, developing great citizens among the next generation of Chicagoans.

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“I’m very excited to continue the partnership with UIC that we started in 2018,” said Granderson, the organization’s founder and president. “This gives so many kids an opportunity to set foot on an amazing college campus, many for the first time. While on campus, these kids get to learn, practice and play year-round, both inside and out, with one of the best views in all of baseball. I’m very thankful to UIC for its commitment to helping so many.”

“UIC Athletics is proud to be the home of CBEA and to share in its mission to educate through sport,” UIC Director of Athletics Michael Lipitz said. “Curtis represents the very best of UIC, and he continues to lead by example in his commitment to Chicagoland youth. We’re excited to partner with CBEA to welcome thousands more kids to UIC’s campus in the years ahead.”

Granderson, who made a leadership gift toward construction of his namesake stadium in 2014, remains one of the most decorated student-athletes in UIC athletics history, roaming the outfield for the Flames from 2000-02. As a junior in 2002, he was named the Horizon League Player of the Year after setting single-season program records for batting average (.483 — also second in the nation), hits (100) and runs (76), all marks that stand to this day. He was chosen as a 2002 second team All-American by Baseball America and USA Today’s Baseball Weekly, as well as a third-team All-American by Louisville Slugger.

Granderson graduated from UIC with a degree in business administration and business marketing and was inducted into the UIC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. Granderson was subsequently enshrined in the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 2021 and, most recently, the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame in March 2024.

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