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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Where are they now? Chris Kingsbury

Chris Kingsbury played guard for the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1993 to 1996. Kingsbury was a McDonald's All-American his senior year with Hamilton High School in Hamilton, Ohio before beginning his career as a Hawkeye. Kingsbury became an instant fan favorite at Iowa displaying a seemingly limitless range as a three-point shooter. During his sophomore season of 1994-95, Kingsbury set school records for three-pointers in a game (9, twice) and in a season (117), both records that still stand to this day. He also led the Hawkeyes in scoring that season averaging 16.8 points per game. Kingsbury averaged 11.9 points per game the next season as a junior and helped Iowa to a 4th place finish in the Big Ten with an 11-7 conference record. Few Hawkeye fans will forget Kingsbury's 30-point effort in a 101-95 win over Connecticut in the 1995 Great Alaskan Shoot-out. A game that was recently replayed as part of the Big Ten Network's "The Big Ten's Greatest Games". The Hawkeyes earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament at season's end and eventually lost in the 2nd round to Arizona, 87-73.

Chris Kingsbury did not return to Iowa for his senior season but instead pursued a career in professional basketball. Kingsbury was not picked in the 1996 NBA Draft and over his career played professionally in the CBA, the IBL, and Italy.

These days Chris Kingsbury works as Vice President of Investments and Operations at the Bank of Dixon County in Ponca, Nebraska. Kingsbury is now 33 years old and has worked at Bank of Dixon County for 7 years.

Hawkeye Sports News recently caught up with former Hawkeye Chris Kingsbury to ask him about his experiences as a Hawkeye and also to get his opinion on the future of Iowa Basketball. Here is a copy of the complete transcript from our interview with the legendary Chris Kingsbury:

Hawkeye Sports News: What is the favorite memory you have from your playing days with Iowa?

Chris Kingsbury: The first thing I remember is my mother making it to every game I played from the time I was little all the way through college. If you think about the Midwest and winter, and then all the places we played it is pretty amazing. I also remember the relationships that I made and the fun I had at Iowa. We made a pretty good run the second half of the Big 10 season during the 94-95 season when we went 6-3 after starting conference play 3-6. I remember Iowa giving me the opportunity to play against great players and go head-to-head with guys like Jalen Rose, Michael Finley, Vashon Leonard, Sean Respert, and Ray Allen. The fan support was always great and it was a time of my life I will always remember.

HSN: How did your experiences at Iowa help prepare you for life after college and eventually life after basketball?

CK: I think sports in general teach a lot about discipline and hard work. I made mistakes in college like most kids do, and there were consequences, and I learned from those mistakes. Being in the spotlight certainly has it's advantages and it's disadvantages, but I wouldn't trade my college basketball experience for anything.

HSN: Where are you currently residing and what is your current occupation?

CK: I live in Ponca, Nebraska, with 3 great children, Logan 9 in April, Carter 7 in May, and Ashlyn 3 in March. I am Vice President of Investments and Operations at Bank of Dixon County. I have been here almost 7-years and plan to stay here a long time.

HSN: How closely do you still follow the Hawkeyes and what are your feelings of the team's future?

CK: I follow the Hawks and catch as many games as I can. It appears that the program is heading in the right direction, and I have heard nothing but positives regarding the new coaching staff. Basketball is tough in that the media, and often the fans, don't want to give the coach a chance to get 'his guys' in the program. In football you always hear that they need to recruit their guys for their system, but in basketball I think we want coaches to adapt everything and win with whatever they have. It is not reasonable and I think the program is doing what is necessary to get back to the top of the Big 10.