Proud To Be A Hawkeye
At the time of Greg Brunner's commitment last fall, many second-guessed Iowa's decision to sign an "undersized" post player, but those whispers have since ceased after several sizzling performances this summer.
Brunner and point guard Jeff Horner, a 6-2, 180 pound point guard from Mason City (IA) High who has also committed to the Hawkeyes, guided Hank Huddleston's Martin Brothers Select to the coveted Spiece Run N' Slam championship in May. Horner garnered the tournament's most valuable player award and Brunner, who dropped 20 points against Purdue-bound power forward Matt Kiefer (6-9, 215) in the finals, earned all-tournament honors.
"Jeff's such an incredible point guard to play with because he can do so much," said Brunner, who will room with Horner at Iowa. "You can't zone him, because he'll shoot you right out of it. He sees the floor so well in transition and makes crisp passes. Post players love playing with him."
After a "disappointing" performance at the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival in June, Brunner rebounded and made quite a splash at July's Nike All-American Basketball Camp. "A lot of people said I played really well at Nike," said Brunner, a BlueChipHoops.com Top 100 prospect (No. 74), who is being recruited as a power forward, but hopes to develop into do-everything small forward.
"I heard I was ranked anywhere from the fourth-best player to somewhere in the top 20. I tried to do what I could and play as hard as I can, which I did, but it also helped having Yusuf Baker and Amare Stoudemire on my team. We all really fed off each other."
Regarded as a "sleeper," Brunner only attracted lukewarm attention from recruiters prior to his junior campaign. Last September, Iowa and Wisconsin were the only schools to offer. "I never really had three top choices," said Brunner, who was also actively pursued by Oklahoma, Purdue, Iowa State, Marquette, Central Michigan and Northern Iowa. "I've always been a huge ‘Hawks fan, so once they showed interest (a scholarship) my decision to verbal was an easy one."
Tentatively, Brunner has scheduled a routine in-house visit with Iowa for September 11. He plans to ink a letter-of-intent with the Hawkeyes during November's early signing period."My commitment to Iowa and Coach Alford has never wavered," said Brunner, a full-qualifier, who scored a 22 on the ACT and owns a 3.497 grade point average (4.0 scale).
"Even when the Indiana job opened up I knew Coach Alford was staying put, because he said he'd be at Iowa for all four of my years. He said it with such sincerity that I knew he was telling the truth. I really respect that kind of integrity and honesty."
Until setting foot in Iowa City, Brunner has set his sights on leading Charles City High School, which finished 16-5 last season, to a state tournament appearance. "Hopefully we'll finally make it to state this year," said Brunner, who averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks last season. "We haven't made it to state since 1952 and we've been beaten in the district finals the last three years. That's all the motivation I need."