Blog Entry

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Posted on: April 25, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 12:38 pm
Posted by Matt Norlander

Twenty-six years old with just two years of organized basketball experience. And a criminal record.

Yet Anthony Hubbard's going to be wearing an Iowa Hawkeyes uniform next season.

This is a scholarship story that may be unprecedented.

Hubbard will be the most unlikely player to earn a spot on a Division I squad next year because of his backstory and the roads he took before winding up in Iowa City.

Hubbard was charged with four felonies during his teen years, when one horrible mistake set back his life in a big way. In December of 2003, the then-18-year-old attempted robbery, burglary and battery on a man while invading said man's house. Hubbard initially got away, but soon thereafter turned himself in, pleading guilty to the charges -- malicious wounding, possession of a firearm and robbery -- pressed against him.

Hubbard spent nearly four years behind bars because of it. He was denied parole three times. Think D-I basketball was even on his radar? No.

Here's how unlikely all this was: Hubbard, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound guard, never played high school basketball; he never graduated, properly, from high school. And until two years ago, he'd never participated in organized hoop. Then, after completing his high school diploma, Hubbard enrolled at Odessa Junior College, located in Texas. He had skill, but didn't know how much. After a year in Odessa, Hubbard wanted to be closer to home (Virginia) so he went to Maryland and enrolled at Frederick Community College. Last season he averaged 20.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and was an incredible 64 percent from the floor.

Those kind of numbers, at just about any level, will get the attention from just about any college coach, and more than 75 found the time to reach out to FCC coach Dave Miller and inquire about Hubbard, the man, as much as Hubbard, the player. Many stayed away, but plenty pursued.

Hubbard signed his Letter of Intent Saturday at the Hylton Boys & Girls Club in Dale City, Va., which is close to his hometown of Woodbridge. It was a mini-event, to be sure. Approximately 80 people showed up for the event, including North Carolina's Kendall Marshall. According to the Sioux City Journal, Hubbard also had a standing scholarship offer from Nebraska (which will join Iowa in the Big Ten next season) and took trips to Penn State and Iona.

But Iowa, somewhat surprisingly, lured in the old man. After Hubbard made his choice Saturday afternoon, second-year Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffrey told this to the Cedar Rapids Gazette:

“I heard that he was a really good player,” McCaffery said. “I didn’t really know anything about him. So of course we followed up on that. His coach (Miller) immediately told me what happened and said, ‘What I have to tell you is if he wanted to date my daughter, it would be OK with me. That’s how much I think of him. I’ve never had any problems with him. I recommend him without reservation.’

“So then of course we made sure folks here were at least comfortable pursuing that. So we needed to do our homework, and we did. We needed to get him here and meet everybody. We were satisfied after we completed our due diligence that he’s somebody we’d like to have in our program.”

The 26-year-old will enroll as a junior next year in Iowa City. And if you're curious about Hubbard now, read any of the links provided above. This certainly seems like a man who's long been well-adjusted and paid his price. For those who know him, there are few concerns or questions about his character.

We could have the second start of a sweet story here.

Photo via the News & Messenger

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Iowa

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:34 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

It was 8 years ago and he was release 4 years ago so I'm fine with it do to the amount of time he has been out, and has been clean and a positive influence since his release. If he was released last year I would have a problem with it. Statistically the majority of felons that return to jail return within a year of their release. The percentage drops significatly the more time passes from their time in jail and being in a different enviorment also can effect the chances of a repeat offense.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2011 12:53 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Hey Iowa just signed Gabe Olaseni yesterday, where is the story on that?
In the Iowa newspapers, where stories about signing unranked recruits are usually found.  Did you really expect a national story about an unranked center with no offensive game?

So only when they sign someone who has done jail time it is newsworthy.
Probably not.  If they sign a nationally ranked player, that would get some news time too.  Until then, this is a compelling story that has little to nothing to do with the subject's basketball talent.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2011 12:46 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

It's disappointing to see all the shamfully ignorant posts on here condemning a man for a mistake made as an 18 year old.  A mistake that he faced like a man and served his time.  A mistake that his life since release hasn't given any indication that he'll repeat.  He's not innocent - he's guilty of what he did, but he looks to be someone who accepts responsibility for his actions and is working to make a better life.  It's really pathetic that so many people have to take such a venomous approach to the story.

Good luck to Anthony Hubbard; and by that I mean, I hope you enjoy your college athletics experience, contribute to the basketball ream, adjust to the Iowa pace of life, and graduate.  Continue to rewrite your own story.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2011 10:36 am

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Hey Iowa just signed Gabe Olaseni yesterday, where is the story on that?  So only when they sign someone who has done jail time it is newsworthy. 

Since: Feb 6, 2008
Posted on: April 27, 2011 8:16 am

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Typical Michigan Fan........

Since: Oct 29, 2009
Posted on: April 26, 2011 11:59 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Way to go Iowa! Give a 26 year old thug a scholarship befor a 18 year old kid that deserves it! You now rank up there with OSU.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 10:03 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Lived in Iowa back in the 80's had some good teams. Hope this young man does'nt disappoint those who have given him a chance of a lifetime to improve his life and contibute back and be a giver not a taker! Good luck Anthony do'nt let them down. Go Hawkeyes! Beat Indiana.

Since: Jun 14, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 6:56 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Agree with the kid getting a second chance, and hope it works out for him. Besides at Iowa the only difference between him and their other recruits is he has already done his time. Seriously, I hope the program gains some positive traction from providing this opportunity, they have had enough negative off court incidents to last three or four coaches lifetimes.

Since: Mar 8, 2011
Posted on: April 26, 2011 1:19 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

As a Cyclone fan, it pains me to defend Iowa, but this story is a non-story at best.  As most on here have already said, he did his crime and time.  If he repeats his earlier stupidity, people should blame the kid (really old "kid" I guess)  and not the university that gave him another chance.  I work with an office full of DWI offenders.  They're not bad people, just made bad choices. Hope he takes advantage of his second chance.

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 1:17 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

I'm happy for him.  I hope he makes it.  I believe in redemption.

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