It’s 2019 and Iowa is United — well, on the hardwood, at least.
Usually, Iowa is home to one of the most interesting political events: the Iowa Caucus, in which things get crazy and sides are drawn.
This relates to their D1 schools as well. Iowa and Iowa State are most well-known, but there’s Drake (The University) and Northern Iowa. Both schools play in the Missouri Valley Conference and UNI has been a thorn to the side of Drake fans on the hardwood lately.
So there’s some serious pride here and each fan might have their preference. Despite that, The Basketball Tournament will shortly quiet the enemy lines and bring them together.
Hey everyone! Even though I won’t be able to play in the @thetournament this summer, I am honored to reveal the jerseys for @IowaTbt! They look awesome, best of luck I’ll be watching!! pic.twitter.com/TwpzQLYAo3— Megan Gustafson (@GustafsonMeg10) July 9, 2019
Unlike most TBT teams, Iowa United boasts a woman on the roster. Megan Gustafson is that player. She’s a two-time Big Ten player of the Year and was even named National Player of the Year. Unfortunately, she was cut from the Dallas Wings before her rookie season even started. She has added back again a few weeks later. She will not be playing but having her on this roster was a major sign of respect by her TBT teammates and fans.
Speaking of Hawkeyes, Nicholas Baer and Peter Jok are legends in the eyes of Iowa fans right now. Both were apart of NCAA tournament teams for the Hawkeyes. Baer is lethal from three and can hold his own on the defensive end. Jok can do the same and is effective at getting to the hoop. And they aren’t the only towering Hawkeye alums on this team. Cyrus Tate and Melsahn Basabe will be joining them. Tate played from 2006 until 2009, transferring into the program. Basabe is a recent addition to the team.
Iowa State is represented by Marcus Fizer and Tyrus McGee. Fizer’s college playing days were in the ‘90s. He was drafted fourth-overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2000 as part of the franchise’s post-MJ rebuild. His career took a skid after an ACL tear in 2003. Despite that, his pro career lasted 15 years between the NBA and other international leagues. He’s in his 40s and even is an ordained minister.
But it’s The Basketball Tournament and it’s cash on the line, Fizer is ready to go once again. Same goes for McGee. He blazed the country with 46% three-point shooting during the 2012-13 season. He took his talent overseas after his time at ISU.
Drake has a great program and three of their former players are on this team. Nick McGlynn is coming off a great senior season where he averaged around 15 points per game. He was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Year and was runner up for Player of the Year. Josh Young was apart of the amazing Drake team that was a 5-seed in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. He finished his team as the all-time leading scorer in school history.
Oh yeah, Reed Timmer recently broke that record and he’s on the roster as well. He played all four years and scored in double figures every season. His offensive damage came from the three-point range. Looks like Drake has their best within the TBT.
Matt Tiby did not go to an Iowa school but he’s from Iowa. The 6’8” power forward played three seasons at UW-Milwaukee. He was consistent, starting every game he played during his time there. And this trend of good three-point shooting connects to Tiby as well. He shot over 35%. Wes Washpun is listed as a free agent for the TBT right now, but there’s a good chance he will be added to the Iowa United team.
This team is here for a purpose, which also will be impacting its community. Iowa United will be raising awareness for FORE THE VETERANS, an Iowa based non-profit that gives military members and their families free rounds of golf.
General Manager Matthew Crawford has developed a team with the best players from different schools within one state, taking the TBT college alumni team to a new level.
Iowa United will start off against the After Shocks (Wichita State alumni) on July 25 at 9 p.m. EST. The Wichita State team is a 2-seed but Iowa United’s depth is something to not take lightly.