Ames Welcomes "The Mayor" Home

It's been a difficult summer for former Ames High and ISU star Fred Hoiberg. In June he underwent heart surgery to correct an enlarged aortic root. Following the surgery there were a series of setbacks along the way, but Hoiberg's love for the game of basketball never wavered.

The Mayor is back in Ames – hometown hero Fred Hoiberg returned to his roots for the 7th Annual Fred "The Mayor" Hoiberg Basketball Camp.


Earlier this summer, Hoiberg underwent heart surgery to correct an enlarged aortic root. During the recovery process there have been some set backs, Hoiberg had to have a pacemaker put in, which he will probably have for the rest of his life. It was also discovered that fluid had accumulated around his heart, which caused Hoiberg to lose consciousness one night.


"Once I got that fluid taken care of I've felt a lot better," he said. "Now it's just a lot of rest. I meet with a surgeon in a month and hopefully my bones are fusing back together and I can start to do more after that appointment."


Hoiberg said the recovery process has been tough, but things are looking up.


"I still get pretty tired pretty quick," he said. "My energy level is still going to be down for probably another month or so. I feel a lot better than I did a couple weeks ago, so hopefully the worst days are behind me and I can get on with the recovery process."


The Hoiberg basketball camp began Monday and will run until Thursday at the Lied Recreation/Athletic Center. There are two different sessions: the morning session goes from 9 a.m.12 noon and that's for "Rookies" (boys and girls entering 2nd-5th grades). The second session for the "Veterans" is for boys and girls entering 6th-10th grades.


The camp stresses the fundamentals of basketball.


"We want to teach them the right way to play, try to get them to have fun and have a good hard week," Hoiberg said. "I believe you make yourself better in the summer and hopefully we can give these kids something to take and make them better players."


Hoiberg said there were about 120 kids in the morning session and 140 in the afternoon. Also manning the camp are ISU women's basketball players Lisa Bildeaux, Kandice Beenken, Tracy Paustian and Amanda Nisleit; Ames High School Coach Rob Kain; and coaches from DMACC and Coe. Former Cyclone Michael Born is the camp director.


"I will be here the whole week," Hoiberg said. "I'm not going to be as active as I've been but I'll be able to still talk with the kids and answer any questions they have."


Hoiberg said even throughout the surgeries he had always wanted to attend the camp, but it was a wait and see decision.


"I've made pretty good progress over the past couple of weeks, so I felt that I could come back and give some good advice and help these kids out," he said.






Hoiberg and his wife Carol met while attending Ames High School; they have four children, Paige (8), Jack (6) and identical twins Sam and Charlie (2). Both Hoiberg and Carol's parents still reside in Ames.


"My six year old is playing [at the camp and] my daughter kind of runs around," Hoiberg said.


For right now Hoiberg's career as a Timberwolf is on hold, but that may only be temporarily.


"The doctors are confident that if everything heals right I will be able to make a full recovery and that's what I'm excited about," he said.


In 76 games last season, Hoiberg averaged 5.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 16.7 minutes per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He led the league in three-point accuracy, hitting a career-best and franchise-record 48.3 percent.


Last year was a frustrating for the Timberwolves, who failed to make the NBA playoffs after a strong showing the year prior. This summer has been an off-season of changes for the franchise, who recently named Dwane Casey head coach.


"We have a new coach and we are still trying to be active in the free agent market," Hoiberg said. "It's still yet to de determined but I think with the disappointment of last year I think everyone's going to come in hungry and hopefully we'll get back to the playoffs."



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