Friday, October 15, 2010

New-look UIS basketball team starts practice

University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars coach Ben Wierzba is counting down the hours to the first day of men’s basketball practice.

The first-year coach is just as excited as his players. They don’t have long to wait. The season officially gets under way today at 10:15 a.m.

“They’re excited,” Wierzba said. “We’ve had a good month. I’ve been here about four or five weeks and they’ve had good attitudes every day (in individual workouts).”

This is Wierzba’s first head coaching job. The former University of Evansville assistant is working with a team made up of a large number of new players.

“The next challenge is getting in there as a team and practicing together as a team,” Wierzba said.

Wierzba replaced Kevin Gamble, who resigned to become director of player development at Division I Providence College. Gamble was 130-79 in eight seasons as UIS coach, including 11-13 last season.

The team was featured in a October 15, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article