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April 13, 2005

USI men’s basketball signs a pair from California

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team announced the signing of a pair of forwards – George Cunningham (Jamul, California) and Jeff Fahnbulleh (Van Nuys, California) – for the 2005-06 season. Cunningham and Fahnbulleh are the second and third players to sign with USI Head Coach Rick Herdes this year.

Fahnbulleh transfers to USI from Mount San Antonio College, a member of the California Community College Men’s Basketball Association in Walnut, California. He was named first team All-Conference after averaging 19 points and 10 rebounds per game. The incoming 6-foot-7 junior forward also shot 52 percent from the field and 72 percent from the line.

The 10 rpg tied for 10th in the CCMBA, while his 19 ppg average ranked 32nd. Fahnbulleh had a career-high of 35 points and 19 rebounds.

“Jeff is an impact player at any level of collegiate basketball,” said Herdes. “He will be an immediate factor for us in the GLVC, filling the urgent needs we have in the frontcourt. Coach Bob Ward was instrumental in getting Jeff and George.”

Cunningham will begin his collegiate career at USI after averaging 16.4 points and 12.6 rebounds per game for Steele Canyon High School in Spring Valley, California. SCHS was 30-2 last year under the direction of former University of Evansville standout Brad Leaf, who was recently named to the Aces’ all-time team.

SCHS was ranked as high as 21st nationally in the USA Today High School Top 25 and defeated number one ranked St. Anthony’s High School, coached by former Duke All-American Bobby Hurley.

The 6-foot-7 forward was named first team San Diego California Interscholastic Federation Division II All-Grossmont Conference in March. He also was a first team CIF All-Academic performer in 2004.

“George is a quality athlete with a great upside for our future,” said Herdes. “He has played at a high level of competition nationally under the direction of Coach Leaf. Coach Leaf’s Evansville ties were a tremendous help in steering George in our direction.”

Cunningham and Fahnbulleh join guard Melvin Hall in signing with the Eagles. Hall was recently named to the third team NJCAA All-American after averaging 18 points and dropping in 60 three-point field goals for John A. Logan College in 2004-05.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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