CEDAR RAPIDS - Campers seemed star-struck with the Hawkeye players at the shooting camp held at Xavier High School on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“It’s huge for them” said former Hawkeye guard Eric May. “They are fans of Iowa and they supported us all year. And it’s also fun to work with kids.”
May, Iowa's co-captain this past year, finished his senior season playing in all 38 games - while starting in seven - averaging 5.2 points per game, 39 percent from 3-point range and a career-high 45 percent from the field.
While May is hoping to continue to play basketball, he said he is working out with the team in Iowa City this summer and has a camp in Las Vegas in July for scouts from overseas to take a look at him.
“I enjoy it a lot,” said former Iowa basketball stand-out Luke Recker. “I lived in Iowa City with Luehrsmann for a year and we kept in touch.
“He’s done a great job to building a great program and I’m glad to help him out in these camps…Going these camps is part of basketball. We enjoy teaching these kids and watch them work hard and get better.”
Recker, playing one year with Xavier head coach Ryan Luehrsmann at Iowa, played professional basketball overseas in Europe for seven years after he finished his collegiate career. He now resides in Coralville and works at Stryker, a medical device company.
“It’s a great opportunity to teach the knowledge they had gain throughout the years to the kids,” Luehrsmann said.
“Luke [Recker] and I are good friends and we stayed in contact with each other throughout the years. Eric [May], I knew for a while now, and was kind enough to do camp this year.”
The Xavier basketball players who attended the camp didn’t know much about who Recker was, but knew highly of May.
“I know Eric May was really good for Iowa,” said senior guard Andrew Bisenius. “And it’s really cool to have good players to come back to teach us things to get better at.”
Junior forward Calvin Winker said it was nice of May and Recker to come back to the camp to teach them the skills they had to offer.
“Eric is a great guy. I know he is a great shooter and that he can jump high. He was teaching me how to back squat properly so I can gain vertical when I jump.”
“He’s such a hard worker,” said sophomore guard Mitch Burger of May. “I’m a giant Iowa fan. The team this year making it to the NIT was great and it’s nice of him to come back to show us some stuff.”
Luehrsmann said this camp allows the kids to learn not just skills but hard work as well.
“Eric and Luke are firm believers of individual work to become better players. I know they both do an hour work of shooting, ball handling, passing and other skills they need to work on everyday.“For my players to learn from these guys, it can give them a blueprint for the summer on what they need to work on for the upcoming season,” he said.