Backup point guard for the Iowa basketball team is a big duty in itself, but Connor McCaffery took it a few steps higher with this juggling act of duties.
Playing one Division 1 sport is quite an endeavor for any student-athlete, but for some, apparently, the prospect of playing two Division 1 sports at the same time can be quite alluring. For Iowa basketball player Connor McCaffery, it’s becoming quite the juggling act as he manages playing point guard for the NCAA Tournament-bound Iowa basketball team while playing baseball for Rick Heller’s Hawkeye baseball squad.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that he is doing all this and getting good enough grades to be named to the Academic All-Big Ten team.
Just this past week, Connor McCaffery participated in back to back Big Ten Men’s Conference Tournament games playing twenty minutes in each contest. Against Illinois, McCaffery had a career day, dishing out eight assists and scoring three points before contributing two points and two assists in the loss to Michigan.
Literally, the very next day, after driving back from Chicago late Friday evening, McCaffery got up and went to the baseball fields where he got one at-bat for the now 11-7 Iowa Hawkeyes baseball team. That Sunday, he started in the outfield for one game of Iowa’s doubleheader against Cal State Northridge and pinch hit in the other where he went a combined 3 for 4 with two doubles and one walk.
He followed that up with another hit in Iowa’s next home game against Simpson College Tuesday evening.
Keep in mind, this is all while the Iowa basketball team was gearing up for the 2019 NCAA Tournament, and according to head coach and father Fran McCaffery, Connor didn’t miss a single minute of practice.
Understandably so as well, Fran was quite proud of his oldest son. He spoke glowingly of Connor when asked about his juggling act in today’s press conference.
"He was at practice. He didn’t miss any practices for us. And then to go 4-for-8 with two walks and two stolen bases and a couple of doubles, I was really impressed that he was able to do that. But probably more so that he was Academic All-Big Ten while doing all of that. So just couldn’t be more proud of him."
Personally, I am incredibly impressed. Not only is he participating in both sports, but he is doing it at a high level, and as a former baseball player I know how difficult it can be if you’re not getting cuts in every day or you are transitioning back and forth from a different sport.
Connor McCaffery will be back in action for the Iowa basketball team tomorrow when they open the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament with the Cincinnati Bearcats.