Not exactly big news, right? Well, this was a little different. Connor, 16, a sophomore at Iowa City West, got the hugs after he committed to play basketball for his dad’s Iowa team.
“I’ve always thought about what it would be like to play for him,” said Connor, a 6-foot-5 point guard who helped the Trojans win the Class 4-A state title in March. “I’ve always wanted to do it. I never really considered it any other way.”
ESPN ranks Connor 24th nationally in his class. He said his dad offered him a scholarship some time ago. He made an unofficial visit Saturday, hung out with the team at the Iowa-Northern Iowa football game and then visited one-on-one with his dad Saturday evening.
“When he finished I said, ‘I want to come,'” said Connor, who played AAU basketball with the Iowa Barnstormers 15U team this summer.
The hugs followed. Then his brothers, Patrick and Jonathan, and sister, Marit, joined in the family celebration.
“They were really excited, and jumping on me,” said Connor, who won’t sign a binding letter of intent with the Hawkeyes until November 2016.
Both of Connor’s parents played Division I basketball — Fran at Wake Forest and Penn, Margaret at Notre Dame. Connor said he’s never felt any pressure to follow in their footsteps.
“They didn’t make me feel any pressure at all,” Connor said. “I was never put in that position. I just wanted to play in college, like they did.”
Playing as a marked man, because of his father’s job, has become old hat for Connor.
“I played with that pressure all season (in 2013-14),” said Connor, who averaged 6.1 points and 4.5 assists as a freshman. “I’ve been picked on, just because of who my dad is. I just had to deal with it. I’m used to it now.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball