Throughout the day, we'll take a look back at iconic figures — one per school — from Big Ten's basketball past. The fourth installment:
Whatever happened to ... Iowa’s Chris Street
Then: A three-sport standout at Indianola, Iowa, Street picked Iowa early in the recruiting process. After averaging five points a game as a freshman, Street doubled the number as a sophomore. He also became one of the top rebounders in the Big Ten. In 15 games as a junior, Street was almost averaging a double-double, scoring 14.5 points per game. On Jan. 19, 1993, after a team dinner at a local hotel, Street was killed when his car was struck by a snow plow just north of Iowa City. The team’s next game, against Northwestern, was postponed. Less than a month later, Street’s No. 40 was retired. It is the lone Hawkeye number not in use.
Now: Street’s name remains a part of the Iowa program. The Chris Street Award is given each year to the player who best exemplifies his spirit, enthusiasm and intensity. A glass case outside the Iowa locker room honors Street’s memory with a photo of the player and a poem dedicated to his memory. Recently, on the 20-year anniversary of Street’s death, the former Chris Street Award winners were honored at halftime and a video was shown about Street. After the game, an Iowa win, Street’s parents talked to the team.
What they’re saying: “Street’s on-court persona is what first won the hearts of Iowa fans. He had boundless energy and enthusiasm and knew how to use it, and he worked hard to make himself a really fine player. Then, he made a lot of friends off the court by being approachable to fans. Plus, he was an Iowan.” — Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette columnist