Mattoon’s Jeffries commits to Wyoming, fulfills DI dream

Sports

WCIA — Drake Jeffries is living his DI dream, he just didn’t expect it to play out quite like it did. The Mattoon native took an unconventional route to landing his spot on a Division I basketball team after spending two years at Division II school, then last season at at junior college, but the 6-foot-5 guard’s journey paid off committing to Wyoming over the weekend.

“I made the most of it and learned from all my experiences,” Jeffries said on a FaceTime interview Tuesday afternoon. “Going D-II, I learned going there and one here at JUCO, I learned a ton.”

Jeffries spent his first two years after high school at Minot State in Fargo, North Dakota. After redshirting his first season, he played in 32 games, starting 15 as a second yearfreshman, averaging 6.4 points per game. When assistant coach Rich McBride, a Springfield native and former Illini, resigned, Jeffries decided to leave the program. He landed at Indian Hills Community College and thrived, scoring 9.8 points per game, all while shooting 44.8 percent from 3. It helped land him several offers, but he ended up picking Wyoming over his other two finalists of Drake and Indiana State.

“I’m here sitting going to be a Division I basketball player and it’s a blessing,” Jeffries added. “You know going to places like San Diego State, playing in front of 10-12,000 you know people just yelling at you, that’s something I’ve always dreamed of.”

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