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: Aug 25, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2011 8:26 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

so is he a felon or an ex-felon?

Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: April 25, 2011 8:04 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Pierre Pierce II.  Win at all cost.

Since: Nov 29, 2010
Posted on: April 25, 2011 8:03 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

And why would it be a joke? Lets put everything you have done front and center and Ill bet someone let you slide for some fault by you.
So before you go telling someone they dont deserve another chance think about this. If this was your child you would be proud that hes going to a D-1 college and getting an education after making a mistake. So remember someday your child might make a mistake!!!

Since: Sep 27, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2011 7:59 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

     So he a felon. He payed his dues and with hard work on the court and in the classroom. Why shouldn`t he get a chance to play ball  at a big school and graduate with a degree. People like some off these jealous a-holes leaving these dumb ass comments are the reasons why their is still racism in the world today. Get over it and grow the f*** up.

Since: Jun 15, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2011 7:56 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

If he was a student with the same background, and just wanted to go to school to study economics, would you deny him a chance as well?

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 7:55 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

I wonder how many burgeoning scientists, doctors, teachers, lawyers and astronauts will have to find some other way to pay for their college tuition and maybe will never get the chance to go to school because that money has been given to someone who is good at basketball.  I am glad this kid will get a chance to play and I am glad for him if he has turned his life around.  I'd just like the university of Iowa to tell us who isn't going to go to school because this guy is.

Men's basketball and football are both revenue-generating sports, which allows their revenues to pay for their scholarships and also help fund scholarships for other sports such as swimming, track & field, wrestling, rowing, etc.  These scholarships don't take away from other students being accepted into the University of Iowa as a certain number of student-athletes for each sport are allocated on a yearly basis.  And who is to say these student-athletes won't go on to become scientists, doctors, teachers, etc?  Lastly, if these burgeoning professionals you refer to are intelligent and motivated enough, they will find a way into college.  Your argument is flawed.

Since: Apr 25, 2011
Posted on: April 25, 2011 7:54 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

At least this shows some kind of hope that convicted felons have hope in our society. The only reason why felons have to keep on being felons, once there out of jail, is because they cant find a job. good for him

Since: Apr 24, 2011
Posted on: April 25, 2011 7:52 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 7:22 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

I dont know what to say.  If we were talking about an SEC school i would rag all over them, but now that its a BIG10 team I will be open to hope.  Lets hope this kid gets it right this time, gets an education, and keeps his nose clean.

Since: Feb 17, 2011
Posted on: April 25, 2011 7:17 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Leave it to the U of Iowa to go this route.  Same old story...if this kid didn't have athletic skills, he wouldn't be getting this chance.  What a screwed-up society we live in.

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