It's no secret as to what John Neal will be remembered for. He'll be remembered as the virtually unknown
walk-on sophomore that came off the bench against
John Neal comes from a family of Cyclones. His father, Brian Neal was a four year starter for the Iowa State Football team from 1977-81 and his little brother Patrick has committed to play for the Cyclones next year also in football.
"We take great pride in
Tuesday night was John Neal's last
regular season game in Hilton Coliseum. In his last game, Neal went 4-8 from
3-point range and scored 14 points to lead his Cyclones over a struggling
"He deserves to play that well. He came out playing really well. He hit a long three from almost half court it seemed like. It feels good for that guy to do that. He's been here through thick and thin and I'm proud of him," said Cyclone guard Curtis Stinson.
Neal not only had one of his best games of the season on Tuesday, but he hit a surprising milestone along the way. Tuesday night's game marked the first time all season that Neal went to the free throw line.
"I was trying to make it through the entire year without getting fouled but unfortunately they got me," said Neal.
After the game, Stinson had an optimistic spin on Neal's incredible stat.
"We just said he was one for one. Then he hit the second one. He was two for two. He's 100% now. He's a 3-point shooter and that's what he does. We know that if he gets there then he's going to make them. That's what he did tonight. He's 100%," said Stinson.
So how does a guy like Neal, who's lived and breathed Cyclones his entire life, exit Hilton? The answer to that is simple. Neal did it with style, skill, and most importantly class.
"It's a special feeling. We have great fans that support you if you're winning or losing," said Neal.
Neal has indeed been through good
and bad times during his tenure at
"It was special playing at
The following quote should sum up why Cyclone fans are in love with John Neal.
"Having your name in the books is something I always dreamed about as a kid and now I've been blessed enough for it to come true."
This just might be one of those cases where people don't realize what they had, until it's gone.