“(U)niversity of (N)othing’s (I)mpossible”

“(U)niversity of (N)othing’s (I)mpossible”

March 16, 1990 was a historic day for the University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team.

To write that is a big understatement.

Maurice Newby...the man who made the shot that sent the Cedar Valley into a frenzy. (UNI Athletics Communications)
Maurice Newby…the man who made the shot that sent the Cedar Valley into a frenzy. (UNI Athletics Communications)

Twenty-five years ago today, in their first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament as a Division I-A program, the 14th seeded Panthers faced the Missouri Tigers, who were seeded 3rd and at one time, were ranked #1 in the polls.

UNI, tied with Mizzou, 71-71, with 10 seconds left, had the ball on the sidelines. Troy Muilenburg inbounded the ball to point guard Dale Turner. Turner dribbles the ball to the right, then reverses back to the left. Maurice Newby comes towards Turner, as Mizzou’s Anthony Peeler doesn’t switch off Turner quick enough as Newby receives the pass from Turner. Newby, with time running out, gathers himself behind the three-point line and lets one fly…


The Tigers, with no timeouts to use, hurry to inbound the ball and heaves it past the basket into the crowd as the buzzer sounds.

The Panthers won, 74-71 over the Tigers. It was one of the biggest upsets in the 1990 tournament and goes down in the annuals as one of the most memorable in Iowa sports history.

There is a distinction that has to be made here, if you don’t mind.  The 2010 win versus Kansas in the second round of the NCAA tournament was the biggest win in the program’s history. The Jayhawks were the top seed and nationally ranked in the top 5 during the 2009-10 season.

While many fans, and rightfully so, will say Kansas ranks #1 as the biggest win, the victory over Mizzou was the most “defining” win for the Panthers’ basketball program.


You can’t dismiss what that win over the Tigers meant to UNI. Until 1981, UNI was a Division II school. When they made the leap to Division I, they went through plenty of growing pains. To Iowa, Iowa State and the rest of the state, Northern Iowa was a blip on the map. Yes, they are a state school, but they were not always treated as equals like their big brothers were.

UNI is the school where the student body is slightly over 90% Iowan. It was known as Iowa State Teachers’ College until 1967. Norm Stewart, the losing coach for Missouri, was the head coach for ISTC from 1962 to 1969. Panthers athletics were known more for wrestling, volleyball, and most times than not, football.

Jason Reese cuts down the nets after the Panthers' 53-45 win over UW-Green Bay for the Mid-Continent tournament championship. (UNI Athletics Communications)
Jason Reese cuts down the nets after the Panthers’ 53-45 win over UW-Green Bay for the Mid-Continent tournament championship. (UNI Athletics Communications)

The 1989-90 season for UNI was a defining moment for the team for various reasons. They hosted the Iowa Hawkeyes for the first time in seven decades. The game, held in the UNI-Dome on January 3rd, created a buzz that hasn’t been seen since the Dome opened in late 1975. With the court raised and centered in the middle of Dome, 22,676 fans witnessed and were part of history. It was the largest crowd to watch a college basketball game in state history. That record still stands today.

UNI, behind 15 second half points by reserve Brad Hill, upset the Hawkeyes, 77-74.

In early March, the Panthers hosted the Mid-Continent Conference tournament. After finishing in fourth place in the league, and losers of three of their last five games, there were plenty for UNI to prove. They lost only two games in “Eldon’s Dome of Doom” in the regular season.

After a wild triple overtime win over Illinois-Chicago in the first round, Northern Iowa got a go-ahead basket to lead (Southwest) Missouri State 63-61, the Bears had the ball and a chance to tie or win the game. They were called for traveling with 4 seconds left. The Panthers advanced to the title game against a Wisconsin-Green Bay team that beaten the twice during the season.

With a loud raucous crowd behind them, Northern Iowa stymied the Phoenix and star player (current Virginia coach) Tony Bennett, 53-45, to earn their first ever appearance in the “Big Dance.”

Jason Reese (left) and Nick Pace joking around during a 2012 reunion of the '89-90 UNI team on campus. (Courier archives)
Jason Reese (left) and Nick Pace joking around during a 2012 reunion of the ’89-90 UNI team on campus. (Courier archives)

Purple fever was running white-hot through the Cedar Valley and the state. Panthers fans had something to boast about and a moniker for the team: University of Nothing’s Impossible: beating Iowa, winning three games in three nights to win the conference tournament. Nothing was impossible for this team: Jason Reese, Maurice Newby, Troy Muilenburg, Dale Turner, Steve Phyfe, Cedric McCullough, Cam Johnson, Nick Pace, Brad Hill, Jonathon Cox, Scott Socha, Kent Pollpeter, and Steve Deering.

Northern Iowa drew Missouri in the Southeast regional at Richmond, Virginia Friday morning, March 16th.

Here is the full game, without commercials.

See what I mean why I say a “defining” moment for UNI basketball? That season gave the Panthers the foundation they needed to build success…and what we see today, as Northern Iowa returns to the tournament to face Wyoming on Friday.

Since 1990, Northern Iowa has made the NCAA tournament in 2004-06 and 2009-10, and won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in 2004, 2009, 2010, and two weeks ago.

Steve Phfye holds the Mid-Continent trophy in the air. (UNI Athletics Communications)
Steve Phfye holds the Mid-Continent trophy in the air. (UNI Athletics Communications)

The win against Mizzou turned UNI from a “blip” to a place where getting an easy win was no longer possible. Before beating Kansas and Missouri, Iowa was their biggest win, only to eclipse that two months later, knocking off the Tigers.

Northern Iowa may still be the little brother Iowa and ISU would rather not be bothered with, but there is no disputing this: UNI is no longer a pushover. They’re the ones doing the pushing around, which makes the rivalry between the three public schools, and Drake, something that fans in Iowa can appreciate and enjoy.

Nothing is impossible for the Purple and the Gold.




You Can’t Stop Them, You Can Only Hope to Contain Them: Zach McCabe Fiasco

Iowa State basketball coach Fred Hoiberg didn’t hold back his displeasure towards social media during his press conference on Monday. After Iowa’s loss to Wisconsin, several Iowa fans typed out their frustrations at Hawkeye senior Zach McCabe. McCabe was called for a blocking foul (that could have gone the other way), and he air-balled a 3-pointer that could have tied or at least cut down the Badgers’ lead.

Fred, if you want to combat as many trolls on social media as possible, I suggest you start using your Twitter account a lot more. People will read it.

After listening to Hoiberg, and reading the great Mike Hlas‘ column about the McCabe meltdown, I do understand that fans have greater access to voice their feelings, and unfortunately at times, cross over the line.

But if a coach thinks that cutting off social media to his or her players is going to keep them from reading message boards, texts, and Twitter, I hate to deliver bad news…

…good luck stopping them from doing that, or in that matter, using it.

It’s ironic that the NCAA has now granted permission for programs to use Instagram, to go along with texting and social media as forms of “soft” recruiting. Athletic departments uses social media to promote and build an audience for their sports and brand.

I think it has become hypocritical of us, as fans and media, to expect and demand that student-athletes block out the “distractions” in the stands and on social media. Eighteen, 19, and 20-year old kids are going to read and hear everything, because their families, friends, and classmates are on Facebook and Twitter.

If we want them to block out distractions, then how come we can’t do it ourselves?

The onus is back on the coach. No longer can coaches use the old tired excuse of “I don’t read the papers/message boards/tweets/texts” and hope that it will go away. Social media experts have long advocated athletic programs and professional teams to educate and show athletes how to use Twitter and learn how to not take stupid and demeaning comments personally.

I don’t know what took place between McCabe and several posters, but I do know one thing: I don’t hide behind a fake name or a fake avatar. When I tweet, you see my name and my face.  I use social media as a way to learn something, contribute, and to have conversations.

John Calipari can rub a lot of people the wrong way, but how is it that he understands the evolution of college sports, athletes, and social media better than everyone else? Because he adapts to it.

Which brings me to an interview that was done last week, that I feel that you should listen to. John Calipari of Kentucky was asked last week by Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic about how he uses social media. Calipari’s response will rub a lot of coaches the wrong way, including Fred, but the more I thought about what he said, it made sense.

Cue to the 5:00 mark of the interview to hear Cal’s take.

It’s ironic that Fred Hoiberg has a Twitter account, but does he actually uses it, or is someone else tweeting for him? There is no question that Kirk Ferentz doesn’t use social media. That’s why he has a ban in place for his teams. it’s a chore that no coach wants..but they need to understand and be proactive about it.


The very same social media users Hoiberg is blasting…includes him, Randy Peterson, Mike Hlas, Keith Murphy, and me. Fred could’ve used his Twitter account and posted his feelings about what happened to McCabe.
It would have elicit the same response, if not greater, as a way to stimulate conversation on how we can better use social media.

What a missed opportunity, Fred.

Shutting down Twitter is a short-term solution. It’s not going to stop your players from using it…and reading everything. Calipari was spot on when he said “If you’re reading (only) the responses (of what people say about you or the team), you shouldn’t use it.” If you can’t dismiss the negative comments and interact with others who don’t stoop to that level, then you’re not ready to use social media. It’s a conversation piece.

Which brings me back to the fans. I’ve said a few weeks ago, I’ll say it again. It’s time for fans to either start policing ourselves and curb-stomp the clowns who gives us a bad name, like Jeff Orr, and the “jihadic” wing of the Hawkeye Nation (h/t to Steve Deace).

Maybe it’s me, but it’s no wonder why I’ve started to sour on some Hawkeyes fans. For the most part, Iowa fans are loyal, dedicated, and supportive. There’s a lot of them I like and respect immensely thru social media (Graham, Schmitty, PSD, BHGP, etc), but there are too many assholes in that fan base for me to stomach. They give Iowa fans a bad name.

And Dan Dakich is right…sadly. And I grew up a Hawkeye fan.

De-cluttering a Few Things: July 15, 2013

Hard to believe it's been a month since I visited this place. The Land of Mouse was quite a place to see.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since I visited this place. The Land of Mouse was quite a place to see.

A few thoughts to de-clutter as I start preparing for the prep football season, which starts in about 45 days.

Aaron Hernandez:  unless this story turns into O.J. Simpson part deux, Hernandez is in big trouble. Then again, anything can happen in a trial (see O.J., Duke Lacrosse, Casey Anthony, et al.). The point is this: if the prosecution doesn’t prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a suspect committed a crime, they have no case.

Stewart Mandel/Kirk Ferentz:  I guess Mandel was looking for a topic (hey it’s July, not much is going on), decided to throw something up against the wall and came up with the “worst coaches in college football” list, ahem, “right now.”

As Nipsey Russell famously said in “Wildcats”: “riiiiiight.”

Have Iowa struggled over the past few years? Yes. What is that attributed to, besides coaching/Ken O’Keefe/predictable defense/recruits not panning out? Yes, I’m looking at you Grant, Hassel, and the rest of you. And don’t tell me it’s Ferentz’s salary. That’s no longer an excuse to use.

Nearly every Division I-A coach in the six major conferences are paying their coaches in the range of $1-$5 million a year. USC paid Pete Carroll nearly $3 million/year and USC ended up on probation(!) and he skips town. Nick Saban gets $5 million/year and Lane Kiffin get about $3 million. .

It’s called paying the going rate. The next guy who comes to Iowa City will expect to get paid more than Ferentz and you know it. Also know this, his name won’t be Steve Spurrier or Will Muschamp. Iowa isn’t in that blue-blood group of college football royalty with Michigan, Notre Dame, and Bama. So, stop acting like we are in that group.

If anyone who thinks Nick Saban or any top notch coach in America is willing to come to Iowa City and coach the Hawkeyes, you would be wrong. Iowa is a “second-tier” program in their eyes.

No matter how you look at it, the south cares more about football than we do. They got big boosters who are not afraid to back up the Brinks truck to pay for the best coach on the market. And, they’re willing to break laws as well.

There are more Bill Knapps and Dick Jacobsons in the south than here in Iowa. Bobby Lowder and Phil Knight isn’t walking through the doors anytime soon.

And Iowa isn’t Alabama.

For anyone who thinks it’s a travesty that a football coach is the highest paid employee in Alabama and Iowa respectively, may I direct you to Pennsylvania. A college president is the highest paid employee there.

That said president let a pedophile assistant football coach prowl around campus and did nothing to stop it.

That’s your real travesty.

Nobody circles the wagons and drive SI’s Richard Deitsch crazy during the Home Run Derby telecast, like…. #backbackbackbackback (Sports Illustrated)

MLB All Star Game: Thom Loverro wrote about the possible reason for the decline of popularity and interest of the MLB All-Star Game. My opinion: not every team is needed to be represented in the All-Star game, and not all of them have to play in the game, regardless of what their incentive-laden contracts say.

Two can play at this game: Kate Taylor of the NY Times has an eye-opening (not so surprising) article on how women on college campuses are choosing not to pursue relationships and opting for casual encounters, similar to men.

How about these apples, Stephen Bloom!: The 80/35 festival, was a great one. It was my first one, since my family did not hold our annual 4th of July gathering this year. Good weather, great crowds, and different genre of music, headlined by David Byrne and St. Vincent, and Wu Tang Clan. David Byrne went as far as to write his thoughts about Des Moines in his online journal.

David Byrne and St. Vincent performing at 80/35. (dmJuice.com)

When you read this three-part essay about his time in Des Moines, it’ll make you appreciate having a celebrity write about how lucky and fortunate we are to live in Iowa and what we have going. Yeah, we’re not boring, right?

A tip of the fedora… to Geoff Conn. Geoff has accepted a full-time position with KVVL and KNIM radio in Maryville, Missouri. Geoff is one of the good guys in Des Moines/Central Iowa local radio, especially his work in sports. But above all, he is a man of humility and respect. Grand View University is losing a great announcer and ambassador, more importantly I can’t say how happy I am for him for this opportunity.

Tidbits: I went in for a checkup at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) in Iowa City late last week for my diabetic retinopathy. Around Memorial Day, there was hemorrhaging of the vitreous in my left eye. My specialist here in Des Moines referred me to Iowa City to determine if I will need a surgical procedure to clean out the hemorrhage.

It was determined I will not need surgery. The hemorrhage has dried up to a point where it does not interfere with my vision, basically the central part of the retina. I will continue receiving laser treatment and medicinal injections to the eyes as preventive maintenance. Down the road, I may need it, eventually, but right now it’s encouraging news to hear.

I hate to miss working football games with everyone’s friend Paul Yeager this fall.

There is no cure for proliferative diabetic retinopathy, only continued treatment for it is the most effective way to keep my eyes from going bad again.

That is good news, considering next month will mark one year since my health problems started. There are some rough days and encouraging days, but I’m slowly starting to feel “normal” again, whatever the “new” normal is. That’s quite alright with me.

With that, I’m grateful to the eye clinic at Broadlawns and UIHC. I would be in a world of trouble without them over the past few months.

The Voices Of An Era

Jim Zabel was more than the Voice of the Hawkeyes. He was Iowa. (Des Moines Register archives) Click on the picture to view a 1981 PM Magazine story on Zabel and his tenure as the Hawkeyes’ play-by-play announcer.

It’s going to take a while to wrap my mind around the fact Jim Zabel has died, even though he was 91 years old.

Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette

Thursday night was an evening I did not want to happen. As it has been said, all good things must end, but as Mike Hlas wrote, we weren’t ready for this.

There isn’t enough words, superlatives, descriptions, anything that would put into words of truly how Jim Zabel was Iowa, through and through. Mind you, not just in a Hawkeye sense, but for a state, a region, and the medium we call broadcasting.

Zabel passed away Thursday evening at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, at age 91. It is hard to fathom that a part of what makes Iowa special is now silent.

Bob Brooks is still getting it done. With the passing of Jim Zabel, Brooks is the last of his kind when it comes to longevity in sports broadcasting.
Bob Brooks is still getting it done. With the passing of Jim Zabel, Brooks is the last of his kind when it comes to longevity in sports broadcasting.

I grew up in Waterloo. I didn’t know anything about WHO or Jim Zabel as a kid.  I was a WMT fan.  Frosty Mitchell and Ron Gonder were my guys. The only time I would hear Zabel’s name is when my best friend Matt Fischer would mention him.

As I got older, I listened to not only Zabel, Gonder, and Frosty, but also Bob Brooks, for whom I didn’t know about until high school.

This post is not going to be mostly about Zabel. You’ve read everything about how important and legendary Zabel is. I’m going in a slightly different direction.

This is about the appreciation and the beauty of broadcasting and radio.

I love listening to sports on live radio. When I turn on the radio, or pull out my phone and turn on the radio app, I’m “seeing” the game. Not physically, but mentally seeing it. It’s a lesson my dad taught me. Listen to how the announcer is describing what is going on and picture it in your mind as it comes to life.

In this age of technology, we have an obsession to “see everything”. If it’s not on YouTube, online, or a camera isn’t there capturing it live, we cruise the internet or channel hop to find it.  Case in point, the Boston Marathon bombing. I was nowhere near a TV or a computer to see what was taking place. My first instinct was to pull out my phone, turned on my radio app and listened to WBZ radio out of Boston.

Jack Shelley, Grant Price, and Dr. Cliff Brockman. (Phil Roberts/FrontPorchExpressions.com)

The details and description of where everyone was at near the finish line, the sound of the explosion, and the reaction of the responders was clear and concise. I could “see” it, without needing a television screen.

Radio is a valuable tool, and in the world of sports, as we remember Jim Zabel today, it’s presence continues to have significance, even if it’s not high on the priority list for many.

Zabel was beloved and deservedly so. But, we can not ignore the fact that Zabel was among a phenomenal class of broadcasters. Bob Brooks still continue to do sports, writing columns for Metro Sports Report and doing daily sports reports on KMRY. Brooksie has been in the business about as long as Z. To dismiss the legacy that Brooks have compiled would be foolish.

Let us not forget those like Pete Taylor, Dic Youngs, Dick Petrik, Tait Cummins, and others who are legends and voices we listened to over the airwaves in the annuals of Iowa broadcasting history.

Zabel had many partners through the years calling the Hawkeyes. Bill Reichardt, Randy Duncan, Forest Evashevski, Ed Podolak and Bobby Hansen. (WHO TV)
Zabel had many partners through the years calling the Hawkeyes. Bill Reichardt, Randy Duncan, Forest Evashevski, Ed Podolak and Bobby Hansen. (WHO TV)


Keith Murphy made a comment about those who are under the age of 40 on how they do not realize how huge Jim Zabel was. I want to amend this. My Wartburg College classmates who currently work in the media know all too well about Zabel, Jack Shelley, Russ Van Dyke, Dr Max, and Mombo. Some of us are under the age of 40.

We can thank Grant Price and Jeff Stein for that.

Wartburg is the home of the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting. There are tapes, films, equipment, and various other things that were used over the years to keep the public informed and entertained. Price knew the importance to collecting these archives to tell the story of the rich history of Iowa broadcasting and the evolution of the medium and the profession.

Zabel’s passing should be a reminder that “now, more than ever” that these memories should be preserved and treasured.**

**- slogan used by KCCI-TV in the 1980’s, courtesy of KCCI-TV via YouTube.

Grounds For Divorce

I’m filing for divorce.

There, I said it.

I need time away to see if I want to continue this relationship as a Hawkeye fan.

Why am I doing this? Easy. There is a faction (a certain group) of Iowa fans and media that has made it hard for me to remain a fan.

The last three weeks should have been something to  smile and cheer about. The Hawkeyes men’s basketball team ended up playing for the NIT championship game on Thursday night. They finished with 25 wins, the first time the Hawks finished with 20 or more wins since 2006.  Fans have started to rally around this team and coach Fran McCaffrey.

But, most of that took a back seat to something that should have went away after a few days, but it continues to have legs.

An individual, who left this state in the spring of 2007 became the hot topic for Hawkeyes fans. I’m not going to say his name. I’m tired of hearing it. I’m not going to list all of the things that took place during that era, because most of you are well-versed in.

I never had an opinion of him either way. Nor do I care. It was time for a clean slate.

However, a certain group of fans, some members of the media, and others can’t seem to cut loose an albatross around their necks. A few days of it is okay, but like many topics, they go away, and a new topic comes up.

But, they are still talking about him and won’t shut up about it. We’ve wasted our time and are burned out.  It’s time to drop it, once and for all.

The more you talk about this individual, you downplay the efforts of what Fran McCaffrey has done to revive this program. The more you talk about “that guy”, the more you prove Dan Dakich’s point that we live in the past and can’t move forward.  The more you keep bringing up “that guy’s” name, you drive away loyal and sensible Hawkeyes fans with this drivel. 

Those fans have moved on from that era, but you won’t let them.

It’s time for the rest of you to do the same.

If you can’t, then that’s a “you” problem. You should appreciate how far this Iowa men’s basketball program have come from that sordid, tense, and acrimonious era. and the period after that.

As fans, we’ve seen the bottom of the barrel. We’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Sadly, some choose to keep lurking in the dark, obsessed over one guy. How dare you let your obsession of this individual take the fun away from the rest of us.

Herky has no time to live in the past. He should know. He’s seen the days of losing football and basketball before. He likes what he sees in Fran and the boys.

You make it hard to be a Hawkeye fan, especially when you can’t appreciate what you got now.

Jay Whannel, fellow Wartburg College alum, put it best:

“He’s not here anymore. It’s over. Move on.”

But, most of you refuse to do so, and it’s pissing me off.

I don’ t need to read Pat Harty’s column, watch Keith Murphy rant, listen to Ken Miller, and read Dan Bernstein’s troll tweets about this individual. Enough already about “that guy”. Yet, you keep poking us with a stick to get us to react to your opinion about him.

Three weeks of this crap is enough. I don’t care if you support him or hate him. It’s time to bury the damn coffin and walk away.

Which is why I want a divorce.

This time, it’s not about me. It’s about you. You won’t let it die, and it’s killing us.

It’s not your problem anymore. It’s UCLA’s deal now.

It’s a sad state of affairs when a fan base spend more time talking about a polarizing individual than Eric May, Devyn Marble, and a group of kids busting their asses on the floor. We’re still picking at the healed scab, screaming to the rooftops to anyone about how much that scab hurts.

I’m fed up with it.

This guy and his team would prefer that you stop standing under that black cloud that you’re holding over yourself. It’s a new day in Iowa City. Take advantage, man, take advantage.

Fran McCaffrey and the Iowa program doesn’t need a black cloud hanging over them, but you keep pulling the cloud back over the program so you can continue to bitch about “that guy”.

Company loves misery.

I’m not down with that. A few others are with me on this.

So to the group of fans and media that’s still picking that scab known as “that guy”, I’ll see you this fall.

I’m willing to reconcile and get back together. I believe in the adage that time heals wounds and rebuilding trust.

But for now, get your shit together, get some counseling, or whatever you need, and stop talking about “that guy”.

You’re better than that.

Twenty Years

(Courtesy: KCRG)

Today marks an anniversary many of us wished it would have never happened, nevertheless we observe, but in celebration of life, not in death.

This evening, the Iowa Hawkeyes will take the floor at Carver-Hawkeye Arena to take on Wisconsin.  The 7 pm tip-off will also mark the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Hawkeyes Basketball stand out Chris Street.

I decided to re-post and update an entry I did in 2008 for Juice, but rather than put it on this main page, it is under a special section, you will see in the banner headline:  “Rediscovering Chris Street:  Twenty Years Later”.

I hope you have a chance to read my recollection of Street, as well as everyone else who were impacted by this anniversary.

A Little Help In Remembering a Dark Week in Iowa Sports

This week marks an anniversary Iowans have not forgotten without sadness: the tragic death of Chris Street.

The start of the new year has been quiet and busy, but 2013 will mark some important events in history…particularly here in Iowa.

Last week was the 30th anniversaries of the spectacular Simpson’s Furniture fire in Cedar Falls and the slaying of Black Hawk County public defender Alvin Davidson in front of the Brown Bottle restaurant in Waterloo.  Both incidents happen on the same day (January 10th).  Later this summer, July 20th, will be the 30th anniversary of Steven Hadley walking out of the John Deere (now Veridian) Community Credit Union and disappearing with $1.3 million in cash.  The Hadley embezzlement case was the biggest white-collar crime in the Cedar Valley before last year’s Russell Wasendorf’s PFG collapse.

But this week will mark a sad anniversary in Iowa sports history, and this is where I will need some help from my fellow alumni from East High in Waterloo.

January 19th will mark the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Iowa Hawkeyes standout Chris Street in a car/snowplow accident outside Coralville.

Twenty years.

Fellow Wartburg grad and friend Jesse Gavin is the sports director at KCNZ radio (1650 “The Fan”) in Cedar Falls.  He is trying to locate former members of the 1990 East High boys hoops championship team to talk about their Class 3A semifinal game versus Street and his Indianola Indians as part of a story he is doing about local Cedar Valley sports ties to Street.

A good number of you know most or all of the players on that memorable Trojans championship team (Mike Davis, Cortez McGhee, Mike Roby, Brian Ross, Rodney Wallican, etc.) and probably still stay in contact with them.

If it’s not too much to ask from my fellow East High friends and classmates, could you help Jesse out by reaching out and asking some of the guys from the ’90 team to contact KCNZ and talk to Jesse about the semifinal game and the buildup to that highly anticipated matchup against Indianola and Chris Street?  It would be a great way for him to not only know what it was like to play against Street but also know about that great championship season for the Orange and Black.

Thanks in advance everyone for helping if you can with this story!


Jesse Gavin, sports director, KCNZ The Fan 1650

Email: Jesse@1650thefan.com

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