April 18, 2011

Gesell a top priority for Iowa

Mike Gesell has been to Iowa City several times, but his trip this past weekend was a much different experience. The 6-foot guard from South Sioux City, NE has been to the University of Iowa on football weekends, but this was his first chance to actually tour the campus and learn more about the academic side of things.

"It was a real good visit," Gesell said on Sunday evening. "I got to see more of the campus than I had before and I spent time seeing the academic side of the school. I really enjoyed it."

But the visit wasn't all about books. Coach Fran McCaffery and his staff wanted to also include their basketball sales pitch. The Iowa coaches made it clear that Gesell is a top priority for them in the Class of 2012.

"He told me that they really need a point guard in my class and that I am the point guard that they want. He said that they are going to continue to recruit me really hard and then they told me about how I would fit into the program at Iowa."

Gesell said playing the point is something he wants to do at the next level of his basketball career and that type of pitch is appealing to him. But, he isn't ready to name any school a favorite and plans to narrow his list of school down soon.

"I am still wide open. I haven't narrowed it down yet, but I know I have to start to do that and get my list of schools down a little bit," he said.

He doesn't have a decision deadline set for his college choice. In addition to Iowa, he holds scholarship offers from Creighton, Drake, Iowa State, Nebraska, Northern Iowa, and Utah, with interest from Harvard, Boston College, Arizona State, and Stanford.

After winning his second straight state title at South Sioux City High School in Nebraska, Gesell is back on the AAU circuit this spring playing for All Iowa Attack/Martin Brothers. Their 17's team qualified last month for the Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) and played in the first event of that series in Virginia, going 3-2 in pool play. Next up for the squad is the second EYBL qualifier in Dallas in two weeks.

"It was a lot of fun," he said. "The competition was really tough and everyone there was really good, but that is what makes it a lot of fun. You have to play your best in every game."

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