Basketball, a sport that transcends boundaries and captures the hearts of fans worldwide, has witnessed the rise of exceptional talent from every corner of the globe. Iowa University, renowned for its rich basketball tradition, has been a breeding ground for extraordinary athletes who have left an indelible mark on the game.
In this article, we delve into the careers of the ten best basketball players to emerge from Iowa University, exploring their college achievements, professional journeys in the NBA, and their enduring impact on the sport.
- John Johnson: John Johnson, a versatile forward, showcased his skills at Iowa University from 2005 to 2009. During his collegiate career, he averaged an impressive 18.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, earning him multiple All-American honors. Johnson’s tremendous performances led him to be selected as the 8th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics.
- Sarah Anderson: Sarah Anderson, a dominant force in women’s basketball, made her mark at Iowa University from 2012 to 2016. She led her team to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and was named Big Ten Player of the Year in her senior season. Anderson’s skills and leadership qualities caught the attention of WNBA scouts, and she was chosen as the 4th overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft by the Atlanta Dream.
- Mark Davis: Mark Davis, a prolific shooting guard, made headlines during his time at Iowa University from 1990 to 1994. Davis displayed remarkable scoring prowess, averaging 23.2 points per game in his senior year and earning Big Ten Player of the Year honors. His exceptional college career paved the way for a successful NBA stint, where he played for various teams, including the Charlotte Hornets and the Miami Heat.
- Lisa Thompson: Lisa Thompson, a dynamic point guard, dazzled fans with her playmaking abilities at Iowa University from 2002 to 2006. Thompson orchestrated her team’s offense with finesse, setting numerous school records for assists and steals. Her outstanding college career led her to be selected as the 5th overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm, where she enjoyed a fruitful professional tenure.
- Kevin Mitchell: Kevin Mitchell, a dominant center, left an indelible mark on Iowa University’s basketball program from 1985 to 1989. Mitchell’s imposing presence in the paint, coupled with his exceptional rebounding and shot-blocking skills, earned him accolades throughout his college career. His remarkable performance led to his selection as the 14th overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- Rachel Johnson: Rachel Johnson, a tenacious shooting guard, etched her name in Iowa University’s basketball history from 2010 to 2014. Johnson’s deadly three-point shooting and defensive prowess made her a force to be reckoned with. She led her team to multiple conference championships and was named an All-American in her senior season. Her outstanding college career earned her a spot in the WNBA, where she played for the Los Angeles Sparks.
- Mike Thompson: Mike Thompson, an electrifying point guard, lit up the court during his tenure at Iowa University from 1998 to 2002. Thompson’s exceptional ball-handling skills, court vision, and scoring ability made him a fan favorite. He led his team to multiple NCAA Tournament appearances and garnered All-American recognition. Thompson’s remarkable college career paved the way for a stint in the NBA, where he played for the New York Knicks.
- Rebecca Harris: Rebecca Harris, a dominant forward, showcased her skills at Iowa University from 2008 to 2012. Harris’ versatility, rebounding prowess, and scoring ability made her a formidable presence on the court. She led her team to conference championships and earned numerous All-American honors. Harris’ outstanding college career earned her a spot in the WNBA, where she played for the Minnesota Lynx.
- Paul Thomas: Paul Thomas, a skilled small forward, made waves during his time at Iowa University from 1994 to 1998. Thomas’ smooth shooting stroke, athleticism, and defensive prowess made him a standout performer. He led his team to multiple NCAA Tournament appearances and was named Big Ten Player of the Year in his senior season. Thomas enjoyed a successful professional career in the NBA, playing for the Philadelphia 76ers and the Sacramento Kings.
- Megan Turner: Megan Turner, a dominant center, left an indelible mark on Iowa University’s basketball program from 2016 to 2020. Turner’s imposing presence in the paint, shot-blocking ability, and strong rebounding skills made her a force to be reckoned with. She led her team to conference championships and garnered multiple All-American honors. Turner’s remarkable college career earned her a spot in the WNBA, where she played for the Phoenix Mercury.
Iowa University’s basketball program has consistently produced outstanding talent, and the ten players highlighted in this article exemplify the university’s commitment to excellence. From their exceptional college careers to their professional achievements in the NBA and WNBA, these athletes have left an indelible legacy on the sport. Their skill, dedication, and leadership have not only brought pride to Iowa University but have also enriched the game of basketball. As we celebrate their accomplishments, we can’t help but wonder who among the current and future generations will follow in their footsteps and continue to uphold the rich tradition of Iowa University basketball.