IOWA CITY — Aaron White entered “the club” at Iowa just as how you’d expect: he did it shooting free throws.
White, a 6-foot-9 junior forward, clinched final margin in Iowa’s 98-93 win against Notre Dame in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge on Tuesday. The free throws marked his team-high 19th and 20th points but also pushed him to 1,001 for his career.
White sank the third-most single-season free throws in Iowa history last year. It was a fitting way for him to become the 41st Iowa player to pass the 1,000-point threshold.
“I don’t know if it was important but it means a lot,” White said. “I really hang my hat on how hard I work and seeing kind of a personal goal. That’s not something you want to hang your hat on — teams wins and stuff like that (are more important) — but it just means a lot. A lot of my hard work has paid off and there’s still a long way to go because I’m only a couple of games into my junior season. Who knows what I’m going to end with?”
While the mark didn’t go unnoticed on the court, it also was a footnote in White’s performance. He was more concerned about a win, and the Hawkeyes needed every ounce of his warn-torn body on the court. He played 36 minutes and hit 7 of 9 shots from the field. He knocked down all six free-throw attempts, grabbed seven rebounds, dished seven assists with only two turnovers.
White stood against a podium minutes after the game and the exhaustion started to set in. The Hawkeyes played four games in six days, three of which were in another country. Then a 12-hour travel nightmare on the way back to Iowa. Topping it off, White’s eyes were black and blue and his left eye still is blood red from a broken vessel. That’s what happens when you get a knee to the face in the Bahamas.
“I look crazy,” he said. “It is grueling but at the same time, your body might be tired but when that ball is thrown up for a tip-off, and you’re on ESPN, you’ve got 15,400 in the crowd, you don’t feel it. But I feel it now, and I’ll feel it (Wednesday). I’m happy we have an off day (Wednesday).
“Four games in six games was fun, but it’s not something you want to do too often to be honest with you with all the travel.”
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