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BG football star Shaun Joplin walks on to basketball team

Less than two months ago, Shaun Joplin was jumping for joy at Ford Field after Bowling Green defeated Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Championship game.

Joplin just finished his senior season playing wide receiver for the Falcons. The 6’2”, 209 pound wide receiver had a career-high in receptions and yards during the 2013 season, including a career high 149 receiving yards and a go ahead touchdown against Buffalo to help send the Falcons into the MAC Championship.

Now, Joplin has switched uniforms and joined the Bowling Green men’s basketball team as of early January.

“It is a lot different, five years off of basketball,” Joplin said. “But it’s fun and I am staying in the gym late and just practicing nonstop to get back in the flow of things.”

Joplin lettered in football, track and basketball while attending Southview High School in Sylvania, Ohio. Ever since the football season ended, Joplin said he has been interested in playing basketball at a collegiate level.

“I was getting recruited in high school, and I knew I could still play,” he said.

Senior Ryan Hetrick said he remembers Joplin’s high school basketball days.

“I remember him playing against Bowling Green High School catching an alley-oop on the first play of the game; I feel that this is a great spot for him,” Hetrick said.

Joplin has been around basketball since his early days. His father, Stanley, played and coached at the University of Toledo. Joplin has known basketball coach Louis Orr for a while and said he played against Orr’s son Chauncey Orr in high school.

“He is a high-character young man who gives us an athletic strong body and has a strong understanding of the game,” Orr said of Joplin.

While Joplin is still learning the ropes of the team, he helps by running scout team and tries to help his teammates every day during practice.

“Joplin is a more reserved player with a tough mindset. He knows what has to be done to win and how to contribute to success,” sophomore basketball walk-on Avery Turner said. “He is a team player that cares more about the success of the team rather than himself.”

Joplin still has extreme interests in playing football at the next level, no matter what it takes.

“I will do whatever I can to help me, I just want to be able to play football still,” Joplin said.

Joplin’s favorite memory as a Falcon was winning the MAC Championship.

“It was our first Championship since 1992; it was a huge accomplishment for us this year,” he said.

Joplin’s career football numbers for the Falcons include of 116 receptions for 1,850 yards, and eight touchdowns. He now looks to break into the basketball statistics.

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