Jok joins the fold for men’s basketball

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 15, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery and the men’s basketball team officially welcomed a new member to the team on Wednesday.

Peter Jok, a senior at Valley High in West Des Moines, signed a national letter of intent and committed to play for the Hawkeyes next season. McCaffery said in a teleconference it was a long-term recruitment that began almost as soon as he accepted the coaching position in Iowa City.

“It was ongoing,” he said. “When I first got here, he was one of the first people I reached out to.”

McCaffery said he maintained consistent contact with Jok, whether through campus visits or traveling to see the Sudan native play in high school and AAU events. And he watched as Jok made his way back from a significant knee injury that forced him to get surgery.

The surgery limited Jok’s effectiveness as a prep and caused some teams to halt their recruitment of the high-school star. Jok has been rehabbing ever since, and McCaffery said he is regaining the explosiveness that once made him a highly coveted prospect.

“As he started getting healthy again, you saw the real Peter Jok,” McCaffery said. “[The athleticism] went away for a while. He was so dominant, and then he couldn’t make the kind of moves he wanted to make. He was frustrated, and I have really been impressed with how maturely he handled the situation.”

McCaffery praised Jok’s skill set and said he has a well-rounded game. The Valley Tiger averaged 10.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a junior last season.

Jok also played AAU basketball with current Hawkeyes Adam Woodbury and Mike Gesell on All-Iowa Attack. Jok will join transfers Jarrod Uthoff and Okey Ukah as new players next season.

McCaffery said he was very excited about bringing Jok into the program and is confident in the prep star’s potential.

“As we’ve seen his athletic ability come back in the last six months,” he said. “Now you’re talking about somebody, I think, that has a chance to be really special.”

— by Tork Mason

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