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Zach Copeland and Jaycee Hillsman sign professional contracts overseas

Zach Copeland (left) and Jaycee Hillsman (right) both signed professional contracts to play in Europe.

Zach Copeland (left) and Jaycee Hillsman (right) both signed professional contracts to play in Europe.

A pair of Illinois State men’s basketball standouts have recently signed to begin their professional careers in Europe: Zach Copeland and Jaycee Hillsman. The pair are the 16th and 17th active professional Redbirds, including former teammates Phil Fayne, William Tinsley, Keyshawn Evans, and Milik Yarbrough.

Hillsman signed with Oulun NMKY out of Finland on  September 13. The Oulun squad is in the Finnish First Division, and finished fourth in Division A last season with a 12-9 record.

Copeland signed with Bristol Academy of the BBL on Monday, September 14. Last season Bristol finished with a 5-7 record before seeing its season shut down.

Last season Copeland led the Redbirds in scoring, averaging 14.5 points per game, making 38 percent of his long-range tries and leading the team with 32 steals. Hillsman, who started 28 times last season, averaged 8.5 points and 4.2 rebounds.