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Editor’s Corner: Where were you when you heard about Chris Street?

[ 0 ] January 13, 2013 |

BY CHAD LEISTIKOW — Register Sports Editor

Knowing we had a special project in the works, I began asking people I knew – and didn’t know – if they remembered. Where were you when you heard?

I know where I was. I had just returned from covering a high school basketball game, like I did every Tuesday night in the winter of my freshman year of college. As I walked into the Iowa City Press-Citizen newsroom, I was met by colleagues standing around a desk, huddled in disbelief. One of them finally told me.

web.street.illus“Chris Street is dead.”

It was more than a kick in the gut. It felt like I’d lost a family member. The heart and soul of a highly ranked Iowa basketball team, the guy who grew up dreaming of playing for the Hawkeyes, the guy who had a class with me first semester … was gone.

It was our JFK moment.

Too much hyperbole? I thought maybe so, too, until I started asking the question to others. Where were you when you heard?

Twenty years later, I had a hard time finding anyone over 30 who couldn’t remember something about Street’s death. Most remembered where they were, what they felt. Even non-Iowans knew some, if not all, of the Street story.

Fran McCaffery was an assistant coach at Notre Dame 20 years ago. In his first two-plus seasons as Iowa’s head coach, he’s learned a similar lesson.

“Everyone remembers where they were when JFK died. Ask anyone in Iowa where they were when Chris Street died, and they’ll tell you,” McCaffery told the Register this summer. “Pretty amazing.”

So, where were you when you heard? Tell us your memories and how Street’s death affected you. Visit our Facebook page via HawkCentral.com/ChrisStreet in the next few days. We’ll run some responses in next Sunday’s Register.

Also: Be sure to tune in at 6:30 p.m. Thursday as KCCI (Channel 8 in Des Moines) will air a 30-minute special on Street’s legacy called “40: Forever.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Chad Leistikow: View author profile.

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