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: Apr 26, 2011
Posted on: April 26, 2011 10:45 am

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

I definitely think this gentlemen deserves another chance and I am glad to hear he is going to be able to play at the D1 level.  That being said, I sure hope this will cause some of the blind, holier than thou Hawkeye fans from casting stones at other universities (namely their in-state rival, Iowa State) for signing players with past troubles.  For the last few months many Hawkeye fans have continued to show their true colors and blast Coach Hoiberg for the signing of a few players, but fail to remember their university having a certain Pierre Pierce on their roster.  The fact of the matter is everyone deserves 2nd chances to make right in their lives, and this is a great example of Coach McCaffery giving that to one man.

Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 10:24 am

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Well said, MSUspartan, I think everyone deserves a second chance.  Given that his crime was 8 years ago and he has been an upstanding memeber of society since his release from prison I am thrilled that this young man will get the chance to show that his life has taken a different path.  Now, instead of his kids being teased about having a dad as a convicted felon they will be able to say that their dad overcame adversity and went on to play basketball at a D-1 college.
Kudos & good luck Mr. Anthony Hubbard!

Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: April 26, 2011 10:06 am

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Anthony Hubbard is an ex-con who was convicted of a felon. He did his time. He paid his dept to society.

So before you all get up in arms, answer this: What has he done since he started his incarceration to the present moment that justifies a belief that he will be a repeat offender?

Thought so.

Now, look at his nefarious conduct of turning himself in and pleading guilty.

I do not condone his crimes, but I believe he has paid his debt, worked to redeem himself, and has EARNED a second (not third) chance.

However, it should also be his last chance. He screws up, howver trivial it is, and he should be out.

I do believe that will never happen. I believe Anthony will be a model student and model athlete. He has learned a very hard lesson about consequences.

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 9:44 am

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

and that once a felon always felon rule does have an exception...if you are RICH then nobody cares

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 9:40 am

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

once a felon always a felon..sorry that how it is. But im really really happy to see they give the guy a chance people make mistakes in life and they need second chances. good for Iowa. my brother just moved to DM and I will follow them to see what happens with him. gl young man plz make the most of it.....

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 8:48 am

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Of course they cant find a job. Not many people can. I wouldnt hire a convict. Not because I wouldnt trust him. Because I also believe in 2nd chances. Their are just too many more qualified individuals ready to work. Its the right thing to do. Really. The best thing that can happen to the kid is play basketball. Use the skills provided by his lord. And hope it works out for him.

Since: Jun 15, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:29 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

There are felons surrounding you every day of  your life, and many more would be felons but for the fact that they did not get caught.  Our criminal justice system, for better or worse, is set up to give second chances.  What  would you have us do?  Shall we banish these people to an island?  Put them behind bars forever?  Make second chances illegal?  We don't live in a perfect world. 

Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:10 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Yes, if it were your child you'd be happy they made good after a crime, not a 'mistake'.  If my child had to go to school with A FELON I'd be very unhappy.  I think this is going to be a net negative in recruiting in the long term.  Tom Izzo or Tom Crean or Matt Painter are going to walk in and ask the next set of prospective recruit's parents if they want their kid going to a school with a felon and the answer will undoubtedly be 'hell no'.

Since: Mar 12, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 9:04 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Racism? C'mon.

Since: Apr 24, 2011
Posted on: April 25, 2011 8:45 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or