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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: Mar 25, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:44 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

I went to Iowa, live and work in Chicago with many Illini alum and pretty sure I make more than all of them.

Keep in mind the number of applicants based of each the population of each respective state, you ignorant fool. 

Since: Mar 11, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:40 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Your wrong. Big Time College athletics, the baseketball, football, and hockey programs, not only fund those sports, they fund womens sports, and build libraries and all kinds of things on their campus's. You are dead wrong. College sports add to the bottom line of Universities, not suck from them. You are mis-informed sir.

And concerning this guy - everyone deserves a second chance. Isnt that why Jesus Christ came? I think so.

Since: Mar 23, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:38 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

If you read the linked stories, you'll find that Hubbard got his G.E.D. before enrolling in junior college.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:30 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
who wants to watch scientists, doctors, teachers, lawyers, or astronauts play basketball? Isn't that why there's an Ivy League?

The reality is that Iowa's basketball and football programs generate more money than they spend. No uber-genius lost a chance to go to school because of a basketball or football player at a Big Ten school.

Since: Mar 29, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:20 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

That's what junior college and community college is for. You can get in often with an entrance exam, some states without a GED. Then, if you show you can do college-level work, you transfer out in two years.

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:20 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

First of all, one can get a GED after that fact and still be eligible, especially after going the JC route.

I'm mixed on this one as I find it hard to believe "that if he wanted to date my daughter" comment.

College basketball is becoming more like the NFL.

Since: Jul 5, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:11 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

My question is, how can anyone who didn't "properly" graduate from high school get into any type of college, whther it be the traditional 4 year or a junior college?

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:08 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

@the garet

While what you say is true, "it's how you rebound from these mistakes that will define you", I think there are two ways to look at it.  He, himself, will(or should) take that train of thought.  However, his past is part of his definition, and I guarantee it will be spoken of, early and often once the season is underway, about his felon past.  Even the subject line of this story reads ex-felon.  It will be some time before the felon part is no longer part of his definition.  Even after college, it will be the subject of every job interview, assuming he can get one with a felony conviction.  I do agree that what he does from here on out will help change the definition, for better or for worse.  Everything appears as thought this could have a nice ending for the guy, but one small slip-up, and I'd be surprised if Iowa would condone it, whatever it is.

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:01 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

 I am not big on guys who get arrested let alone felonies but I also think people make mistakes in their lives and should be able to redeem themselves.'re such a hypocrit. A few days ago you were bangin on Saban with your unproven "cheater" comments like he stole somethin, but now you guys sign a convicted FELON and you he deserves a second chance?!

You have no credibilty.......


Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2011 3:55 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

As the Great Yakoff Smirnoff would say................."What a Country!"

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