NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — He says sometimes it’s like a flashback.

When Colton Sandage puts on an Illinois State uniform for games or practice, it feels like a dream.

“When I was little, I used to run around Redbird Arena,” said Sandage. “Some days when I come in here, I say, ‘I’m really doing this. I’m one of the players.’ It’s been great.”

Sandage’s journey to ISU started long before he was a multi-sport star at Bloomington High School. Growing up in Bloomington-Normal, he attended Redbird games with his family.

His brother Brent played football for the Redbirds, is brother Brandon played basketball at ISU.

“When my brother was here, I dreamed of doing the same thing,” said the ISU senior guard. “Coming to the games, this place used to be cold out. It’ what drew me here.”

Sandage started his college basketball career at Vincennes (Ind.) and played the past two years at Western Illinois. Then he entered the NCAA Transfer Portal and began conversations about coming home to finish his playing career with new coach Ryan Pedon.

“I had a lot of schools reach out to me but in the back of my mind, I knew I really wanted to be here,” said Sandage. “That’s why I kept talking to him. ISU is my dream school.”

Now he hopes to be on a team credited with helping turn around the program. He wants to help bring winning college basketball back to his hometown.

“Everyone here knows what ISU basketball is supposed to be,” Sandage said. “If I can help do that in my first year, electrify this program and sell this place out, it’d be awesome.”