Hubbard signs with Hawkeye hoops

BY SETH ROBERTS | APRIL 25, 2011 7:20 AM

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Iowa men's basketball coach Fran McCaffery added junior college All-American Anthony Hubbard to his roster on April 23, according to a release.

Hubbard, a 6-5, 220-pound junior from Woodbridge, Va., averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game for Frederick (Md.) Community College last season. He will spend most of his time at small forward, although he could play the point if needed as well.

"His versatility and skill set will really benefit our program," McCaffery said in the release. "He can pretty much play any position on the floor … He's proven that he has the character necessary to make a great impact with us."

While his basketball skills are undeniable, Hubbard's checkered past may have caused some to question his character. The 26-year-old spent almost four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to taking part in a robbery when he was 18. He became emotional during his press conference — and during an interview with The Daily Iowan — and said he couldn't believe he was going to sign with a Division-I program.

"A couple years ago, I couldn't see that in my future," he told the DI. "I don't think I have anything to prove to anyone else, but to myself, it's something I want to do. I want to work hard and really get the best out of me."

Hubbard received scholarship offers from Iowa, Nebraska, Penn State, and Rutgers, but his final choice came down to the Hawkeyes or the Cornhuskers. He watched the Black and Gold stun No. 6 Purdue, 67-65, on March 5 during his official visit and said he was impressed with what he saw.

"They play with a lot of heart," he said. "I don't think heart can be taught. Whether they won or lost the game, that wasn't what I was gauging — it was that you give forth the effort and do your best out there on the court. That's what really matters."

Hubbard brings plenty of experience to a young Iowa team that went 11-20 last year, 4-14 in Big Ten play. The squad returns 87 percent of its offense, including top scorers Matt Gatens, Melsahn Basabe, and Bryce Cartwright.

Hubbard is McCaffery's third recruit to sign for the 2011-12 campaign. Josh Oglesby (Cedar Rapids Washington) and Aaron White (Strongsville [Ohio] High) both signed letters of intent in November.

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