Saturday, August 13, 2016

Former Paw paw Standout Staying Local: Scoring Guard Eubank Bolsters Backcourt For KVCC

Following a post-graduate season at Elev8 Prep, former Paw Paw (MI) combination guard Tanner Eubank has elected to prolong his basketball career at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

The local product passed up on a vast array of Division-II, Division-III, NAIA, and Division-I preferred walk-on opportunities.

 The 6-foot-3, 195-pound guard opted to stay local after playing a rigorous national schedule at Elev8, where he averaged 15.2 PPG and registered a 4.0 GPA during both semesters.

Eubank's tight relationship with KVCC head coach Jim Horn played a significant role in steering Paw Paw's all-time leading scorer (1,285 points) to an in-state JUCO program.

"I know it's a good fit because I'll be playing for a great coach in Jim Horn and it's close to home," Eubank said.

"I didn't feel any of the other offers I had were as good a fit as here. I'll be able to develop more. He runs a real good system, kind of a half court offense that will definitely enable shooters to get the right looks and get the shots they need. So, it's really structured."

Eubank's father and former Paw Paw HS coach, Scott Eubank, was recently named  an assistant coach under Horn.

Eubank's numbers are embedded in program record books at Paw Paw, where his scoring engine helped revitalize a once-putrid program.

As a four-year starter at Paw Paw, Eubank drained a school record 169 3-pointers.

 An all-state selection, Eubank's proclivity for scoring at the rim, from 15-18 feet, and beyond the arc helped Paw Paw earn both relevance and reputability.

When Eubank arrived at the doorstep as a callow and bone-thin freshman, the confidence was not there yet.

Pin drop quiet and at times hesitant, Eubank soon seized the reins of the offense.

Embracing the quarterback role while also hunting for his shot more and relying on a steady pull-up game, he became a score-first threat at both guard positions.

In the four years prior to his first-ever varsity game, Paw Paw had mustered a laughable 11 wins (98 losses).

Paw Paw would win 60+ games during Eubank's four-year stay.

He averaged 20 PPG as a junior, playing off the ball. As a senior who quickly converted to the point guard role, Eubank averaged 18.6 points and seven assists.

Eubank is anticipated to play both guard spots at KVCC.

He put considerable muscle onto his spindly frame during his stay at Elev8 Prep, working with personal trainer Ganon Baker and master trainer Tony Falce.

He also worked relentlessly with Cody Toppert (now with the Houston Rockets organization), a stern and gritty taskmaster who has molded talent on all levels.

Under Toppert, a 3-point grenade launcher at Cornell and overseas, Eubank evolved into more of a playmaker with a better basketball awareness.

"I've had that year of prep to get better, to get stronger and it will help me out moving forward," explained Eubank.

"The college system is not new because that prep school was kind of run like a college system."

Elev8 also entertained a national schedule, playing against the likes of Hargrave Military Academy, Putnam Science (CT), and a variety of JUCOs across the country.

Horn and KVCC hope to reap the rewards of this workload with Eubank this season.

"Leadership and scoring is what they could need out of me," Eubank said.  "I'm just going to go in and contribute in any way I can."