Prime Time and Game Time leagues to renew competition

BY BEN ROSS | MAY 06, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Prime Time League will return to the Iowa City area, providing a platform for basketball players from to play and continue to hone their skills during the summer months.

This year will be the 27th installment of the league, which consists of six teams. Under NCAA rules, each team is only allowed to feature two scholarship players that are on the same college squad.

Including incoming freshman Peter Jok, Iowa will have more scholarship players on its roster than spots in the summer league.

Iowa forward Melsahn Basabe will spend the summer in his home state of New York, and guard Devyn Marble might not compete in the league depending on whether he is selected for a number of summer all-star teams.

Each year, organizers hold a draft to select the teams that will compete in the league. Normally, players from Northern Iowa participate in the league, but for the second-straight year, coaches at UNI have decided to bar their players from the league, citing a new rule instituted by the NCAA that allows four practices a week during the off-season, curbing the need to have players compete in such off-season leagues.

Prime Time League founder and Commissioner Randy Larson said he is excited about the upcoming season, and the Hawkeyes’ 25 wins this past basketball season and a trip to Madison Square Garden in New York for the NIT Finals have created hype surrounding the league.

“Fran [McCaffery] has all Iowa fans excited, and his players will continue their improvement and competition for playing time this summer,” Larson said in a release. “With everybody returning except Eric May, and the addition of sharpshooter Jok, the red-shirted Kyle Meyer, and versatile transfer Jarrod Uthoff, I expect a great effort by everybody to improve as they prepare to compete for playing time this fall.”

This summer will also mark the 13th year in which the Game Time League will feature competition for the University’s women’s basketball squad. Current Hawkeyes Theairra Taylor, Kathy Thomas, Sam Logic, Bethany Doolittle, Melissa Dixon, Claire Till, Kayla Timmerman, Nicole Smith, and Kali Peschel are all expected to play.

The women’s squad was ranked as high as 23rd in the nation last season and was able to win one game in the postseason of the NCAA Tournament.

Larson said that Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder has been able to show consistent success year in and year out makes for competitive play during the summer months for Game Time.

“Lisa’s team is one of only 14 teams in the nation to have made the NCAA Tournament six years in a row and continued its string of great success in the Big Ten last year and should be very strong again this fall,” Larson said in a release. “Their incoming freshmen are both tremendous players who should contribute right away, and I’m excited to see how they play this summer.”

Game Time has five teams; it will begin competition on June 19. Prime Time will begin its games on June 20, going until July 21. Admission to games, which are held at the North Liberty Community Center, is free.

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