Tim's father, Jeff, the head coach at Champaign Central, sent a statement to media on Wednesday stating that his youngest son will leave the Illinois Irish AAU program and play with the STL Eagles.
Tim Finke was the most sought-after prospect for the Irish, for which his older brothers Michael (a redshirt freshman at Illinois) and Nick (a Champaign Central senior who has Division II offers) played.
Tim Finke, who transferred from Champaign Centennial to Central this summer, now joins one of the nation's deepest AAU programs that includes top 2017 recruits, including Jeremiah Tilmon, Jordan Goodwin and Alonzo Verge.
"I write this with definite mixed emotions," Jeff Finke wrote. "I'm excited for Tim to be able to experience grassroots basketball competition at the highest level during his 16 and 17U seasons with the Eagles. It's saddens me that Tim won't carry on as our family has the past few seasons and be competing with the Irish next season. Gavin Sullivan has become a close friend and has been a terrific advocate for my three sons over the time they've been in his program. Tim was recruited by several EYBL programs over the past few weeks and we have discussed all of his options in great detail. Tim's decision to join the Eagles and compete in the EYBL is not intended to be a negative towards Gavin and the Irish. Gavin and his program are top tier.
"I will continue to support Gavin and hope that players from Champaign Central will play for the Irish going forward. Tim's decision to play wth the Eagles in the EYBL is 100% about the opportunity for Tim to compete with and against some of the best athletes and basketball players in the country. Tim is looking forward to getting to know his new teammates and coaches over the upcoming weeks and months and to competing with them next season. He's now ready to focus 100% of his attention on his Champaign Central teammates and our upcoming season."
Tim Finke also gave his thoughts to IlliniInquirer.com about the move.
"I'm looking forward to playing versus some of the best basketball players in the country," he said. "That's why I'm making the change. I want to become the best possible player I can become. And I think playing against the great players that are in the EYBL will get me to that point."
Another Illini recruiting target may be transferring high school programs. Read the details on the premium board.