Gesell to play hoops at Iowa

2011-08-09T11:10:00Z Gesell to play hoops at IowaLincoln Journal Star Fremont Tribune
August 09, 2011 11:10 am  • 

Mike Gesell told Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery on Monday that he would be a Hawkeye.

Gesell, the two-time Super-Stater from South Sioux City, chose Iowa over Nebraska and Stanford.

"I'm really happy with my decision. On my official visit, I got to sit down with Coach McCaffery," Gesell said. "I really like his vision for the team and for me.

"Every visit you go on, they make their school look like the best fit. You have to prioritize what's best for you and weigh the pros and cons. I did that and came up with Iowa."

Gesell led South Sioux City to the last two Class B state championships. As a junior, the 6-foot-2 guard averaged 25.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists and was the honorary captain of the Journal Star Super-State team.

Gesell said the fact Iowa recruited him as a point guard played into his decision.

"Iowa wanted me as true point from the very beginning. I really like that," he said. "Point guard is the position I want to continue to play."

Tom Gesell said his son's summer experiences contributed to that aspect.

"When he plays in the summer away from his high school team, he was always a combo guard behind point guard Marcus Paige," the elder Gesell said of Paige, a North Carolina recruit from Linn-Marr High School in Marion, Iowa. "On Mike's first visit to Iowa, Fran McCaffery told Mike he didn't want him as a combo. He wanted to recruit him as a point guard. That's really what Mike wanted to do.

"It became kind of a measuring stick. Down to the end, he was going back and forth between the three schools, looking at all the factors. Coach Sadler (Nebraska's Doc) was unbelievable. He got to know our grandkids on a first-name basis."

South Sioux City coach Terry Comstock said Gesell and Austin Groth, who recently committed to play baseball at Creighton, have had a big impact on the school.

"This is a great thing for the school and for the program. It's good we have two guys going to play Division I sports," Comstock said. "It's a very exciting time and I think it will be a huge relief for them.

"They can just go out and play and not have to worry about it. I don't think Mike tried to play to impress anybody. But I think in the back of your mind, you might play not to mess up. Now, he can relax, have fun and see how far his potential can take him."

Comstock said Gesell took his time to make his decision a rational one and not just an emotional reaction.

"Every recruiter is going to make their school sound like the greatest place," Comstock said. "He wanted to step back and see what was best for him.

"Mike was worried about letting the people in the state (Nebraska) down. I told him he's a good enough kid and a good enough player that once they get over the shock of it, they will root for him."

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