CARTHAGE, Ill. -- Changing his occupation on his Twitter profile is something Evan McGaughey knew he'd eventually have to do now that his care-free college days are over.
When he switched it to professional basketball player Wednesday, the reality of a dream coming true hit home.
"That was kind of cool to do that," said McGaughey, the former Illini West and Quincy University forward. "I'm saying I'm a professional athlete instead of sitting behind a desk all day -- not that that's a bad thing, but what I'm getting to do is pretty cool.
"And I might as well ride this out as long as I'm healthy."
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound McGaughey officially became a professional Wednesday, signing a one-year contract to play in the German ProA League with MLP Academics Heidelberg.
He is scheduled to report to the team Aug. 15, with the 2017-18 season beginning in late September. Heidelberg finished fifth in the 16-team ProA League in 2016-17 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
"Coming from a small town like Carthage and a small high school and all that kind of stuff, everybody talks about it growing up as a kid, but you never truly expect it," McGaughey said. "It just happened to work out. I'm pretty excited right now."
McGaughey helped the Hawks to one of the best seasons in program history last winter as QU went 25-7 and reached the second round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional. He averaged 16.8 points and eight rebounds per game to go along with a team-leading 48 blocked shots.
Yet, it was his ability to stretch the floor that appealed to the European teams. McGaughey shot 58.9 percent from the field and 52.2 percent from 3-point range, knocking down 42 treys. That came on the heels of his junior season when he made 16 treys and started to develop a stronger perimeter game.
"At the end of (junior) year and during the summer, a lot of people started talking about (pro basketball) more, and I kept hearing about it more and more," McGaughey said. "I thought about it more and more. I talked to several of the guys who I know over there and heard what they had to say."
That list includes former QU standouts Courtney Belger and Joel Box, University of Omaha swingman Randy Reed (who played at QU before transferring), and former Truman State forward Mike Carlson. Each has played or is currently playing professionally overseas.
"They've helped me throughout the process," McGaughey said. "If I ever have any questions, I have plenty of people to go to."
That includes his agent, Charles Misuraca with Elevate Agency. Misuraca had been in contact with teams in the Czech Republic, Sweden, Belgium and Germany before landing the deal with Heidelberg.
"Honestly, I didn't have much of a preference," McGaughey said. "This is my first year going into it, so I don't know a whole lot about it. I trusted my agent with whatever he said would be best for me. He said this offer was a great place to start, especially for a rookie.
"I was all in, all on board with that."
McGaughey will continue training for the next seven weeks with Pure Sweat coach Matt Pugh and spending five days per week in the gym.
"It's a job now," he said.