Cincinnati Christian University took two big steps in getting back to the glory days of the late 1980’s last week when they signed two former Players of the Year from the Southern Buckeye Conference.
Goshen’s Nick Wake and Williamsburg’s Elliot Young signed to play basketball for the Eagles on Wednesday, June 6. With their signatures, head coach Ken Tracy expects the Eagles to become competitive very quickly.
“I reached out to both players because they both have great character and a great family background,” Tracy said.
Tracy knew about the talents of Wake and Young because he saw them firsthand as the head coach of Clermont Northeastern. Following his 10-year tenure with the Rockets, Tracy was asked to come back to his collegiate alma mater to try and restore the success that the team enjoyed while he was playing there in the late 80s.
“I played (at Cincinnati Christian) in 1986, ‘87 and ‘88 and we won a national championship,” Tracy explained. “The school asked me to come back and try to bring the program back to that level.”
Tracy decided the best way to do that was to take a grass roots approach to recruiting, going to guys he was familiar with as a result of his time at CNE. Wake and Young were two of those grassroots recruits.
Wake, a 2011 graduate of Goshen, was the SBC-American Player of the Year his senior season for the Warriors and a three-time First Team All-Conference selection.
“(Nick) is an outstanding point guard,” Tracy said. “He definitely knows the game of basketball very well. He has a great heritage being coached by his father. He’s going to be a huge asset not only to the school but also to the environment of the university.”
Young’s high school career mirrored that of Wake’s. A three-year First Team All-Conference selection and Player of the Year winner following his senior year, Young had set himself apart with his scoring ability.
“Elliot went to UC-Clermont for a year and sat out,” Tracy said. “I made contact with him. Elliot’s got a great basketball mind and that’s why I made contact with him.”
The Eagles will look for both Wake and Young to step in quickly and make an impact.
“With these two guys, they’re going to be asked to step in the very first day,” Tracy said. “I have asked them to be ready to fill in some big roles.”
Cincinnati Christian is a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II participant and a member of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Young will have four years of eligibility and Wake will have three because of his one-year stint with the Student Princes of Heidelberg University.
Wake played in 15 games for Heidelberg, averaging 2.2 points per game in just over seven minutes of action.
“It’s rare to have two guys like them on the same team,” Tracy said. “They’re both Players of the Year and they’re coming to the same school. They will both have full athletic scholarships.”
The Eagles, with Wake and Young, will be led by mostly underclassmen, but Tracy hopes that they can mature quickly as they won’t have that much time to get acclimate to the rigors of CCU basketball.
The Eagles will play a variety of opponents including some NCAA Division I foes such as Eastern Kentucky University, Radford, Townsend, University of Indianapolis as well as the No.1-ranked team in NAIA, Mountain State University.
The Eagles season kicks off on November 2 in Georgia against Union University.