Subscribe to feature Nick's Thoughts Emails

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bleeding Black and Gold

Obviously, Marcus Paige doesn't bleed Black and Gold.  Neither did Nick Collison, Kirk Hinrich, Harrison Barnes, and Raef LaFrentz among others.  The top talent in the state of Iowa usually decides to head to the bigger programs, top coaches, and traditional winning programs.  Its choices these kids make and if its their dream to play at those schools, so be it.  I just wonder if at one time, they didn't play a basketball one-on-one game with a neighbor or have a Nerf hoop in their room fantasizing during March Madness of being an Iowa Hawkeye winning the game with a rim-shattering dunk or a fade-away three pointer at the buzzer.  I certainly did, time and time again. 
I wasn't blessed with skills like these guys.  Brian Pauly, a classmate, would call me Herbie Jr.(His father Herb, also used the hook shot like me and it was tough to stop during a friendly game).  He liked to be called BJ during games(reason- B.J. Armstrong, nuff' said).  As we grew older, I gave up basketball because my vertical wasn't going to get me anywhere but possibly a good 6 inches off the ground(on a good day).  Instead I watched high school and college basketball.  I remember in high school, watching games between Davenport West and Fort Madison or Aquinas vs Winfield Mt. Union or Marquette.  All 5 of these teams were fantastic to watch.  They were all good teams with two of the best players in the area at the time with many very good players too.  Ryan Bowen and Jess Settles were two of those players that I got to watch.  They eventually both accepted scholarships to the University of Iowa to play college basketball.  Some of those other players eventually landed at Northern Iowa, Iowa State University(Klay Edwards for sure), St. Ambrose, among others.  I think if given the opportunity, most of those players would have accepted a scholarship to Iowa in a heartbeat.
Iowa's had some recent basketball setbacks.  Kids who could have made Iowa a top 25 team possibly, have chosen other opportunities in different states.  I don't disagree with them but I also don't agree with them.  Some want to play where Jordan once played and play where the foundation is already built.  I can understand their dreams and desires to do that.  A legacy has already been at North Carolina, championships have been won, and most likely you will always be in the footsteps of Jordan, Worthy, etc.  At Iowa, they are waiting for a legacy to happen.
In 18-22 years, kids from possibly your hometown in Iowa could be looking at photos, trophies, and the legacy that was put together from the in-state Iowa recruit who chose to stay home because he bleeds black and gold.  North Carolina already has had their Jordan, Iowa's still looking for theirs.  You can still make it to the NBA if you play at Iowa, just ask Bowen, Armstrong, Evans, Gamble, Earl, and many many others.   To the group of kids who someday build a legacy at Iowa by choosing their own path instead of following someone else's, thankyou for bleeding "black and gold".    

No comments:

Post a Comment