Notebook: Hawkeyes at World University Games

BY CODY GOODWIN | JULY 10, 2013 5:00 AM

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There’s a Black and Gold presence in three different sports at the 2013 World University Games.

Iowa men’s basketball player Aaron White — perhaps the best-known of the five Hawkeyes competing in Kazan, Russia — headlines the group. White made Team USA’s World University men’s basketball team after tryouts in Colorado Springs, Colo., and has been playing both at the forward and center positions.

White’s World University Games began better than most might’ve expected. In Team USA’s first preliminary contest — an expected 140-46 blowout victory over United Arab Emirates — White scored 16 points in 20 minutes of action.

White shot an impeccable 5-of-6 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from deep. The Strongsville, Ohio, native made it to the free-throw line six times, sinking four. He also snagged 4 boards, dished out an assist, and recorded 2 blocks in addition to a steal.

“Back at school, every one of these guys is one of the best players at their respective schools, but when it comes to something like [the World University Games], you have to play for your country and play for your team,” White said after the first win. “You’ve got to take roles you’re not accustomed to, and I think we’re doing that well.”

White’s follow-up performance wasn’t nearly as spectacular. The Iowa junior scored only 2 points in 13 minutes on the floor.

The biggest difference for White might’ve been the three fouls he committed and three turnovers he coughed up in the second game — a 96-53 Team USA win over the Czech Republic — compared to the single foul and no turnovers he managed in the first.

White and Team USA will play their third preliminary-round game today against Sweden. The game will be re-aired on ESPNU at 6 p.m.

Justin Austin, Track

The other four Black and Gold representatives in Russia are split between two sports. Iowa track star Justin Austin was selected to compete with Team USA in a plethora of speed events, including the 100 and 200 meters, as well as being selected for the 400-meter relay team.

The 2013 All-American started competing on Sunday in the preliminary rounds of the 100 meters. Austin successfully cruised through the first two rounds of the competition, winning Heat 8 of Round One, and placing fourth in Heat 2 of Round 2 — his times were 10.40 and 10.41, respectively.

Austin’s performance in the 100-meter semifinals, on Monday, was less than stellar, to the tune of a 10.59 showing, good for seventh in Heat 2. Austin did not advance, ending his bid for a World University Medal in the event.

The Milwaukee native was scheduled to race again on Tuesday in the 200-meter preliminary rounds, but did not start his race in Round One. Austin is slated to run with the 400-meter relay team on Thursday.

3 Men’s Gymnasts

The final three Iowa athletes competing are unique. They all were selected to compete in the men’s gymnastics competition of the games, but none are sporting the Red, White, and Blue.

Javier Balboa, a 2013 All-American for Iowa, represents his native Mexico. Brandon Field, who recently just completed his sophomore year, competes for New Zealand. Cory Paterson, an incoming freshman, represents Canada.

All three Hawkeyes competed on Monday in the individual qualifying rounds, but none scored high enough to qualify for the individual finals that take place today.

Still, just having three athletes exposed to the international competition at their age was enough to excite Iowa men’s gymnastics coach JD Reive for next season.

“Having these three athletes representing Iowa at the 2013 World University Games is a testament to the caliber of gymnastics that this program is now producing and attracting,” Reive said in a release before the Games. “Our competitive presence is just beginning to be seen, both on a national and international stage.”

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