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: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2011 2:49 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Don't worry, it's not like Iowa is a major college institution. It's probably one of the easiest of the Big 10 schools to get into based on how their admissions process works, unless that changed recently.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 2:34 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.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 2:27 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Best of luck to the young man. I hope he has a great two years, except while playing against the Fighting Illini.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: April 25, 2011 2:27 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

How is ex-felon different than felon?  How would that be a key word?  I too, hope the young man does well, but he is who he is.  Hopefully, that means a man that did some very bad stuff eight years ago and has learned from that. 

Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: April 25, 2011 2:24 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Yeah, the title kind of plays mind games with your head but what an interesting (and hopefully and ultimately positive) story.  I'm all for second chances when someone has earned that opportunity.  I read a few of the attached links and googled a few other pieces and it sounds like this young man has served his time and is looking to change his life's outlook and opportunities.  I wish him the best. 

Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2011 2:20 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Good for him. People make mistakes. Such is life. Learn from it. Move on from it.

Hope he does well.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2011 2:06 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

jeffbear - he's going to Iowa, not Iowa State :)

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:19 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

Great story. I hope everything works out for this young man. I'm glad someone gave him a chance as from what I read he deserves one.  Maybe some of the pros can take a hint. It seems once the season is over boredom takes over the brain and turns it off for a lot of these guys. 

Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:18 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

 Sounds good, he obviously had the initiative to go to college whether it was to play ball or w/e. Good luck

Since: Mar 29, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2011 1:14 pm

Iowa inks 26-year-old ex-felon

That's right. People expect guys like this to shape up and do right, but then they don't give them any opportunities to do well. Iowa State deserves credit for giving this guy a chance. The way some of these kids grow up they never really have a chance.

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