Remembering Iowa Basketball’s Chris Street 29 Years Later
On a Tuesday night in 1993 -- 29 years ago today to be exact -- Iowa basketball player Chris Street was killed in a tragic car accident in Iowa City.
Given my age, I was never able to watch Street play for the Hawkeyes, but I've heard plenty of stories. I've read plenty of articles. I've watched plenty of highlights.
The Indianola, Iowa native played with an infectious pride, joy, and intensity.
Don Doxsie, who covered the Iowa basketball squad at the time, had this to say in remembering the life, and the play of Street:
The mere sight of him at the front of Iowa’s fullcourt press waving his arms wildly to deter the inbounds pass got the fans going. When teammates saw him diving on the floor for loose balls or grappling with larger, more physically gifted players for rebounds, it somehow made them work that much harder.
To quote then head coach Tom Davis,
Fun. He was fun to be with as a teammate, as a coach, as a son. He had a lot of other things about him -- his competitiveness, his athletic ability. But to me, the bottom line was that he was fun.
Along with that fun, intense personality came hard work.
Street finished third in rebounding in the Big Ten as a sophomore, hauling in 8.2 rebounds per game while putting up 10.6 points per contest. Through 15 games his junior year, he averaged 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. When he entered the collegiate ranks, he wasn't the greatest free throw shooter. At the time of his death, he had made 34 in a row -- a record that still stands at Iowa.
Jordan Bohannon, a guard for the Hawkeyes, was on pace to break the record during the 2018 season, but purposefully missed in order to honor Street and his family. This is what he told the Big Ten Network:
Obviously, that’s not my record to have. Obviously, that record deserves to stay in his name. I’ve been really close to his family these past couple of years. … Just listening to his story, honestly, it’s really gotten me emotional these past couple of games because I knew what I wanted to do. ... I know where the record deserves to stand, and that’s in Chris’ name.
After Streets death, his No. 40 jersey was retired -- the lone jersey retirement in Iowa history -- and an award is given each year in his honor to the Hawkeye player who displays the most hustle and determination.