For Immediate Release
Men's Basketball -- Aug. 1, 2011
Former Red Devils Tarpley, Wagner Make ABA Roster
PEORIA, Ill. – Former Eureka College men’s basketball players Chris Tarpley and Josh Wagner have been chosen for the preliminary 18-man roster of the Midwest Flames of the semi-professional American Basketball Association, the team announced last week. The Flames are an ABA expansion team based in Peoria, Ill. and will begin their first season in the league in December 2011.
The Flames kept 18 players on the preliminary roster from a tryout that began in early June at the EastSide Centre in East Peoria. Workouts are expected to continue for the 18 players throughout the summer and fall before ABA training camp begins in November. The squad will eventually cut its roster down to 10 players prior to the beginning of the ABA season in December.
Tarpley played one season for the Red Devils after transferring from NAIA-affiliated Culver-Stockton and was chosen as the 2007 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year. The Pekin, Ill. native played in all 26 games during the 2006-07 campaign with the Red Devils, averaging 18.9 points and 10.0 rebounds per game while leading Eureka to an appearance in the 2007 SLIAC Tournament championship game, Eureka’s first season in the nine-team league.
Wagner was a three-year player at Eureka after playing the 2007-08 season at Carl Sandburg. The 6-foot-7 forward from Roanoke, Ill. averaged 6.8 points and 5.0 rebounds over his 53-game Eureka career and wrapped up his final season for the Red Devils last February, earning All-SLIAC Honorable Mention after scoring 10.6 points and grabbing a SLIAC-best 8.1 rebounds per game. Wagner is expected to earn his undergraduate degree from Eureka this fall.
The Flames are coached by Peoria native A.J. Guyton. He was the 2000 Big Ten co-Most Valuable Player for Bob Knight at Indiana and enjoyed a 10-year professional career, including portions of three seasons in the NBA after he was drafted 32nd overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2000 NBA Draft.
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