Walk-on makes most of opportunity

BY EVELYN LAU | JANUARY 27, 2010 7:30 AM

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Megan Considine had a decision to make.

As a talented high-school basketball player in Byron, Ill., she fielded offers to continue playing the sport at the collegiate level. Bradley and other Missouri Valley programs offered her scholarships.

But the one school she wanted to play for the most never came knocking.

“I always wanted the opportunity to play here [at Iowa], and when I didn’t have it coming out of high school, it was still something that lingered in my mind,” Considine said.

With two older brothers who were former Hawkeye athletes, she made the decision after her junior year of high school to drop the sport she loved — a difficult tradeoff, but the right option in her mind.

“I just wanted to be a student here because I loved Iowa and wanted to come,” the sophomore said. “I turned a lot of schools down my senior year, so a lot of them already knew I wasn’t going to play [in college].”

Her father, Rick Considine — a former safety at Northern Illinois — was disappointed by his daughter’s initial decision because he believed in her ability.

“We knew she had a lot of talent,” he said. “I was pretty disappointed at first, but she told me at different times, ‘Dad, get over it,’ and I got over it and kind of accepted the fact that she was done playing sports.”

When Megan Considine arrived at Iowa, she had to learn to adjust. To feed her basketball itch, she played intramural sports. But it wasn’t the same, and she thought about transferring during the summer because she missed playing the game.

Luckily for her and the Iowa women’s basketball team, she decided to stay.

Halfway through the 2009-10 Big Ten season, the Hawkeyes lost three starters because of injury.

Watching the game against Drake on Dec. 20, 2009, Considine realized how short-handed the Iowa squad had become. With hopes of being a walk-on next season, Megan Considine had her old high-school coaches give Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder a call about possibly letting her join the team.

The timing couldn’t have been better. Instead of waiting until next season, the team brought her on.

“I was shocked,” Considine said. “I kind of cried right away. I was so excited to know. I didn’t think I was really ready at the time. I planned on taking the whole semester to get back into shape and get all the rust removed.”

The 5-8 guard made her début against Michigan on Jan. 7. Ten days later, during the next contest against Purdue, she scored her first points as a Hawkeye.

But even though she’s had a limited role this season, she has shown potential.

“She’s an awfully good shooter,” Bluder said. “She’s physical as far as playing defense. She was in during the Michigan game, and she really disrupted some things out there.”

As the youngest Considine, her parents couldn’t be more excited about having all three of their children compete as Hawkeyes.

“I’m real proud,” Rick Considine said. “We fell in love with the University of Iowa when our oldest boy, Sean, came out here. It’s a special place.”

Three years ago, Megan Considine made the grueling decision to give up on playing a sport she loved in order to attend her dream school. She believed her basketball career was over.

She couldn’t be more appreciative, though.

“I want to take some time to just learn, get back into shape, and then use this summer to prove myself and what I can actually do,” she said. “But right now, it’s all about the team and winning. If they’re going to keep getting the Ws, I’m going to keep cheering them on.”

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