Dylan Sparkman has found a new home to the south.


Dylan Sparkman has found a new home to the south.

The East Peoria Community High School senior announced his intention Thursday to attend the University of Illinois-Springfield and play men’s basketball for the Prairie Stars.

“When I went down there, it felt like home,” said Sparkman, who mentioned he liked the facilities and the dorms of the NCAA Division II school.

Over the course of his Raider playing days, the idea of advancing the next level appealed to Sparkman.

“As my high school career went along, it sparked the idea of playing college basketball,” Sparkman said. “It’s an exciting day for me.”

Over the summer to prepare for the transition to UIS, Sparkman said he will stay in shape and maybe work on developing some range on his shot.

He said he hopes to contribute right away for the Prairie Stars, who are guided by Ben Wierzba.

Sparkman began playing the sport in fourth grade. He started in travel ball before playing hoops in junior high school and then at EPCHS.

For Raider head coach Ron Kelch the last two seasons, Sparkman shot an astounding .679 (284-of-418) from the floor.

He also averaged 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game over that span to land one first-team (2009-10) and one second-team (’10-11) all-Mid-Illini Conference award.

Sparkman is undecided on a major.