What The Hawkeyes Do On Their Off Day

Less than 24 hours after defeating Michigan State 68-64, the Iowa Hawkeyes were back on the basketball court, this time signing autographs and taking pictures with members of the Future Hawks Basketball League on Sunday afternoon at Iowa City Regina High School.

Just over three years ago, Iowa Head Coach Steve Alford brought an idea of an orgranized youth basketball league to Regina athletic director and head varsity girls basketball coach Jeff Wallace and assistant girls varsity coach and HTO.com basketball editor Matt Haas, and in the end, the Future Hawks Basketball League was created.

Over 250 boys in grades first through fourth participated in the league this past season, and since its conception over 800 young boys have been a part of the youth basketball league. The season, which runs from the beginning of November to the middle of January, with all the games played at Regina High School, was capped off this year with a visit from the Hawkeyes.

"This league's main intention is to help the young kids learn the game of basketball, in a fun environment," Haas said. "Then to wrap the season up with a visit from the Hawkeyes is great for these young kids."

Players signed autographs and took pictures, as well as watched players participate in their games throughout the day. Iowa Head Coach Steve Alford also personally donated 10 tickets to the upcoming Iowa-Wisconsin game, which were entered into a drawing that all the participants of the league signed up for a chance to win.

The young kids were not the only ones who had a good time on Sunday. "To see the smile on these kids faces, and the excitement in their eyes is something else," Iowa freshman forward Greg Brunner said. "This is definitely a great things for young kids to get involved in with."

Future Hawks will begin their fourth season in November of 2003. Future Hawks would like to thank Coach Alford, his staff, and the Iowa Hawkeyes for all their help and support with the program. Also, Future Hawks would like to personally thank Gerry Ambrose of Prudential Ambrose & Jacobsen Realtors and Mike Hodge of Hodge Construction for their support during the season.

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