January 19, 2012 by MarkHanrahan20
I didn’t grow up in Iowa, but I was born here and was always proud of that fact and made it a point to watch any game that Iowa or Iowa State were playing that was actually televised in Florida. 19 years ago it seemed like that included a lot of Iowa Basketball. At the time, it was really easy for me to gravitate towards Hawkeye basketball, mainly because they were really good. I was also just starting to come into my own as a basketball player, and about to start high school at place that just happened to share the same black and gold as the Hawkeyes, and a pretty good basketball school at that.
There were two players that really jumped out to me on that Hawkeye basketball team. The first was Acie Earl with his high top fade and sweet baby hook. My brother can probably tell you how many times I used that baby hook in our driveway to capitalize on my height advantage over him then yelling “Acie Earl with the baby hook” every time it fell through the net… The other player I will never forget was Chris Street. I vividly remember him jumping up and down like a madman on the baseline every time the Hawkeyes were setting up their patented Tom Davis press. I remember him diving all over the floor for loose balls, taking charges, and never missing a free throw. I remember arguing with kids in the neighborhood and telling them there was NO WAY Andrew DeClerq was better than Chris Street.
Chris Street was also the first person that I really remember looking up to that left us too early. Although I had never met him, it hit me pretty hard, probably harder than any other death I can remember to that date. That next summer, just as the flood waters were starting to recede in Central Iowa, we made our annual family trip north. Just before we got to Norwalk, where my aunt lived, we stopped to get gas at a small gas station in Indianola and something immediately grabbed my attention. There was Chris Street memorabilia everywhere. We ended up talking to the couple who ran the store and I wish I remembered more of it. They ended up being related to Chris, and possibly his parents, but I was too busy listening to the basketball stories and begging my parents for shirts and hats. I ended up walking out of there with a sticker and t-shirt and a renewed motivation for basketball.
That next year, I nervously took the floor to try out for freshmen basketball in my Chris Street#40 T-shirt along with the other 70 freshman fighting hard for 15 spots. I didn’t think there was any chance I would make the team with those kind of numbers, but I did and when they were handing out jerseys I sprinted to the coach telling him I had to get the #40 and why. I told him that Chris Street wore #40 and he was one of the hardest working basketball players to have ever played. I got to wear the black and gold #40 that year and even continued to wear my Chris Street t-shirt underneath and every time I was guarding the inbounds pass, I would jump up and down like a madman, because that’s what Chris Street had done. I would take charges and dive for loose balls, because that’s how Chris Street did it, but I still had the Acie Earl baby hook. I may not be a Hawkeye fan now, by experiences at Iowa State have changed that, but I will always be a fan of Chris Street.