CHAMPAIGN -- Central senior Doug Wallen is no stranger to Champaign high school basketball fans. He spent his first three years at STM. But over the summer, he thought Central was a better fit. So he moved across town to play for the Maroons and Jeff Finke.
"I've known most of the guys all my life and just throughout AAU and things like that but they've helped me so much in so many ways and I'm really appreciative of that," Wallen said.
"Doug was welcome with open arms this summer and he's a hard worker and hard workers are rewarded," Finke said. "He gets a lot of baskets inside by running the floor and off of rebounds, he's just been a great addition."
He's been an instant contributor -- averaging more than ten points a game as the Maroon's primary post player.
Wallen's presence helped Central win the Webster Groves tournament earlier this month.
"Every game we can work on other things but just maintaining that team chemistry, holding each other accountable I think is huge," Wallen said. "If we want to make it far into March or early March then we need to hold each other accountable and that's what's most important. We want to win these tournaments but March is what matters the most."
Wallen wants to play at the next level and has an offer from Division II Winona State and an NAIA school.
He's hoping to hear from more D-1 schools soon.
Playing alongside Tim Finke, one of the country's top 2018 recruits, certainly helps with exposure.
A big reason Wallen decided to switch to Central.
"It's higher but it also makes me play a lot smarter and stronger and focus on my mind also as I'm playing throughout the game," Wallen said. "But it's only made me a better player, I've really liked it so far."