August 9, 2016
ST. LOUIS – The Midwest Professional Basketball Association has announced Eureka, Illinois as the site of its second expansion team in advance of the 2017 season. The team will play its home games at Eureka High School, and is nicknamed the Blaze. Eureka is 18 miles east of Peoria in Central Illinois.
“Eureka High School is excited for the opportunity to host the Eureka Blaze this winter,” said Jason Greene, director of athletics for Eureka High School. “The MPBA is an outstanding organization and we feel fortunate to be a part of their expansion plans.”
“We expect that Eureka will follow the same successful model we implemented in Pontiac last year,” said Steven A. “Buzz” Zeller, chief operations officer for the MPBA. “We will involve the high school’s marketing class and get the community involved, which is what we did in Pontiac with tremendous results. And the presence of Eureka College gives us a potential added dimension for even more engagement.”
MPBA Associate Commissioner and Director of Basketball Personnel A.J. Guyton is leading the search for the team’s first head coach.
The Blaze can be found on social media at Eureka Blaze Professional Basketball on Facebook, and on Twitter at @EurekaBlaze. A team website, along with a color scheme and logo, is also in development. Additional announcements are planned in the coming weeks.
The MPBA launched in 2015 with six teams, and played the 2016 season with seven teams: Champaign Swarm, Pontiac 66ers, Lima Express, Windy City Groove, St. Louis RiverSharks, Gateway Steam, and eventual champion Chicago Blues. The Jacksonville (Illinois) Generals were announced as an expansion team for the 2017 season a couple weeks ago. Information about the league can be found at theMPBA.com.