Scott VanderMeer leads class of Chicago alums in the D-League

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The Iowa Energy (the minor league counterpart of the Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Sun) beat out the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 119-111, in Game Three of the NBADL Finals Friday to capture the D-League crown - the team's first championship in it's four years of basketball.

Former 7-foot UIC big man Scott VanderMeer - the all-time UIC blocks leader (273) - started in all eight of the Energy's post-season games, averaging 13.3 ppg, 8.9 rpg and 3.1 bpg in an average of 31 minutes.

After finishing up at UIC in 2009 as the two-time Horizon League leader in blocks and rebounds, VanderMeer took his massive post-presence overseas, where he played pro ball for Switzerland's BC Lugano Tigers before returning State-side to lead the Energy to their title.

But after a little searching, it turns out VanderMeer isn't the only Chicago College Basketball alum making moves in the D-League.

Dunk-master and former DePaul shooting guard Dar Tucker ('07-'09) (pictured), who left the Blue Demons after his sophomore season only to go undrafted by the NBA, just completed his second season in the D-League.

Tucker (17.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg) played in 49 games, starting in 24 for the New Mexico Thunderbirds this season. He hasn't appeared in the D-League playoffs yet, but he won both the 2010 and 2011 dunk contests.

Bobby Simmons, also of DePaul, is back in the D-League as well after eight seasons with a carousel of NBA teams: the Wizards, the Clippers, the Bucks, the Nets and two games with the Spurs.

Simmons made 10 appearances for the Reno Bighorns this season, pulling down 13.2 ppg.

Rounding out the list is Loyola's third all-time leading scorer, guard David Bailey ('99-'03) who's made a career playing in the D-League. Averaging 10.9 ppg, 5-8 Bailey has four D-League seasons on the books playing for three different teams.

Bailey has started all but two games over the last two seasons for the Sioux Falls Warriors.

Honorable mention: UIC and Robert Morris alum Othyus Jeffers recently left the D-League ranks, called up to play for the Washington Wizards.

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