Robert Eppinger Gets New Start in Minnesota

Robert Eppinger, a 6-foot-8 senior power forward from Minneapolis (MN) Patrick Henry, transferred from Rockford (IL) Jefferson after being expelled due to an altercation that took place in May at Rockford East along with teammate Branden Fisher. Eppinger said that he likes the move, especially now that his parents have moved up here as well. GoldenSports.Net caught up with Eppinger Monday at the Henry Jamboree to find the latest on his move to Minnesota and his recruitment.

Robert Eppinger, who was considered one of the top juniors in Illinois, averaged 17.2 points and 10.8 rebounds per game last season as he led the J-Hawks to a 23-10 mark and a fourth-place finish in the Class AA state tournament. However, the Rockford School Board voted to expel Eppinger and Fisher, who were arrested on the charges of simple battery, criminal trespass to state-supported property and mob action.

Eppinger pled guilty to battery and is serving 40 hours of public service, 12 months of court supervision and paying a $250 fine.

Eppinger, a starting varsity forward since his freshman year and a Division I prospect, earned NIC-9 league MVP honors and was named second-team all-state by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. Eppinger was also a Mr. Basketball of Illinois nominee. Fisher, a starting point guard who averaged 14 points and 3.9 assists, sat out his sophomore year due to ineligibility before earning first-team all-NIC-9 honors as a junior. Fisher has also received Division I interest last year.

Eppinger told that he did not take any fall visits, mostly due to the move to Minnesota. He said that his top schools are Minnesota, Iowa, Purdue and Seton Hall, who have all offered him a scholarship according to Eppinger.

"After being away from home, I want to stay close to home."

Eppinger said that he expects big things for Henry this season.

"I like my team a lot. Al (Nolen) has shown me a lot. He is not just a point guard. He can score at will and has really improved on his outside shot."

Eppinger scored an 18 on the ACT, but plans to retake the test. He has a 2.6 GPA and plans to major in communications.

Eppinger attended the Minnesota-St. Francis (PA) game in late December. The Gophers have recruited the Rockford area in the past and landed point guard Aaron Robinson, who finished his eligibility this season. Eppinger has connections to Robinson as his former coach, Tony Box, is Robinson's guardian.

Henry opens their season this weekend against two Chicago opponents. will continue to follow Eppinger and keep you updated with the latest information.

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