NORTH LIBERTY — Roy Marble and his son, Devyn, have maintained a strong — albeit long-distance — relationship over the years.
Devyn Marble was known as Roy Marble Jr. in Detroit, where he played at Southfield-Lathrup High School. Roy Marble lived in Cedar Rapids then and the two spoke often about life and basketball.
Since Devyn, a 17-year-old freshman men’s basketball player, arrived in Iowa City last month, the two have forged a tighter relationship. They see each other daily and support each other.
“We already had a bond,” said Devyn Marble, who decided to use his middle name now for differentiation. “I guess it was a long-distance bond, but it was still a bond there. It’s not any kind of awkward or anything when we’re around each other for long periods of time. I feel the same.”
Roy Marble’s recent legal scrapes left his image sagging just as Devyn is about to take the stage at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in his father’s footsteps.
Roy Marble, Iowa’s all-time leading scorer in men’s basketball, was arrested last week in Cedar Rapids for driving while barred and was cited for no insurance and using an improper license plate light. That was less than a year after he was convicted of driving while barred and possession of drug paraphernalia in Cedar County. He’s been arrested four times in the last six years by Cedar Rapids police.
Marble, 43, released a statement Thursday through the University of Iowa, admitting his transgressions and apologizing to his family, friends and fans for his mistakes.
“I want to take this time to say I’m so sorry to my children: Roydevyn, Royonah, Roichelle, Alexis, Merrick and Royshaud Marble, who now all reside in the state of Iowa. I’m also apologizing to the rest of my family, friends and fans. The past 12 months have been tough, to say the least. I have been in two altercations with the law, and I take full responsibility for my actions. Due to a lack of patience and communication, I allowed myself to get in the situation I find myself in now. Driving is a privilege, not a right. I also want to say thank you to the Department of Transportation for reinstating my license.
“Being the all-time leading scorer at Iowa comes with responsibilities and integrity. I failed at that. I hope in the near future, through my actions and not my words, I can regain your confidence. I also ask that me and my family be allowed to move on. I ask as a parent, not as a former Hawkeye basketball player. I also want to say thank you for the hundred of e-mails and letters of support on my behalf. Once again, I’m saying I’m sorry to my family, friends and fans. Go Hawks!”
Roy Marble is the only player in Iowa history with more than 2,000 points, scoring 2,116 from 1986 through 1989. He was a first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 1989 but violated the league’s substance abuse policy and was suspended in 1990. He resurfaced in 1993 with the Denver Nuggets but played in only five games before he was released. He scored 55 points in 29 NBA games.
Roy Marble has lived in Cedar Rapids for several years and owned businesses that were wiped out by the flood. After his 2009 arrest he was fired as program director for the Iowa City Mayor’s Youth Empowerment Program. Before that arrest, he had worked as a Big Ten Network basketball analyst.
Devyn Marble doesn’t say much about his dad, just replying “he’s good” when asked about him. But he’s happy to have him just 30 miles up the road.
“It’s definitely good to have him close by,” Devyn Marble said. “I see my dad every day.”