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Hawkeye basketball teams will take over downtown IC Friday; here’s the schedule and street closures

Hawkeye Hoops from Downtown

Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street, Friday Sept. 30, 4:30-6 p.m.


Iowa won against Michigan during the first men’s basketball home game of the season on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. — photo by Zak Neumann

The University of Iowa women’s and men’s basketball teams will celebrate their 2022 Big Ten Championships this Friday with Hawkeye Hoops from Downtown. The players will compete on a full-size court, set up near the corner of Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Hawkeye fans will have their chance to watch the women’s and men’s teams face off in several shooting contests, form their own predictions for the 2022-23 season and afterwards, ask the players how they’ve learned and improved from last season during an interactive Q&A.

Laura VandeBerg, host of Hawkeye Sports, will be the master of ceremonies for the event, and Fox Sports will be downtown at the Pentacrest for the Iowa vs. Michigan football game on Saturday.

The women’s and men’s basketball teams will go through various skill challenges, including half-court and three-point shot competitions.

“We’re gonna try to incorporate a couple of the fans if they’re around, and have a few little giveaways,” said Brian Clarke, the assistant director of marketing. “They’re both coming off Big Ten championship and their tournament wins, and it should be fun to kind of see the team up close.”

Hawkeye Hoops from Downtown, hosted by the Iowa City Downtown District and the UI Athletic Department, will also feature the B1G Championship trophies, free B1G Championship posters and the Hawkeye DJ. This is the first event of its kind, said Nancy Bird, ICDD’s executive director.

“We’ll have all of the fun, great players from the men’s and women’s team coming down to parlay and chat with fans,” Bird said. “So, it’ll just be a lot of fun.”

To protect drivers from stray basketballs, Iowa City will close Iowa Avenue between Clinton and North Dubuque streets starting at 1 p.m.  The road closures will last until the event ends around 6 p.m. The city will also post “No Parking” signs on Thursday, Sept. 29, and will tow vehicles left in the area after 12 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30. The event is free to the public, and parking is available in the downtown Iowa City parking ramps.

“The men’s and the women’s were incredible last year. We think they’re gonna have a great season this year,” Bird said. “It should be really family friendly … It’s fun to see some of your favorite players out there.”

Iowa won both the postseason 2022 Big Ten women’s and men’s basketball tournaments back in March. The women’s team defeated the Indiana Hoosiers 74 to 67, while the men’s team defeated the Purdue Boilermakers by a similar margin of 75 to 66.

The women’s team claimed the Big Ten regular season championship, sharing the title with Ohio State. They finished the 2021-22 season with an overall record of 24–8, and 14–4 in the conference. The men’s team finished 5th, winning 25–9 and 12–8 respectively.

But expectations are high for the upcoming season after the women’s devastating second-round loss to the Creighton Bluejays in the NCAA Tournament, ending an otherwise promising run, and after the men’s first-round knockout to the Richmond Spiders.

“I’m hoping they’re gonna get really great lineups this year, that they do as well, if not better, than they did last year. Both teams did phenomenal, so I think only the sky’s the limit,” Bird said. “This is a great opportunity to celebrate last year’s success and look at what’s becoming good for next year.”


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