Senior forward Ryan Kriener will have the opportunity of a lifetime this summer to represent the Iowa basketball team for the USA East Coast team.
Most of you have probably never heard of the USA East Coast basketball team, and that is completely understandable. Despite its limited exposure, multiple Iowa basketball players have participated on this summer travel team in the past including Jarrod Uthoff and Nicholas Baer.
This year, it’s senior forward Ryan Kriener’s turn to join this squad as they venture overseas to play friendly competitions against European basketball squads.
Heading out in under a week, the Spirit Lake, Iowa native will play three games overseas while also getting an opportunity to see and explore Europe and assist in local clinics for youth basketball players.
According to USA East Coast Basketball’s website, the 11-man team will be doing this:
"While abroad the team will take part in guided tours, learn more about the local culture, participate in youth clinics, and compete against the best teams each nation has to offer."
For a player of Kriener’s stature, this is a perfect opportunity for him. He gets to play more basketball and he gets a chance to go up against professional European squads, which will be an eye-opening experience for him. At 6’9” 255 pounds, Kriener’s game could translate quite well to the overseas game, and although he doesn’t have the talent to play in the NBA, he could carve out a nice career in Europe as many former Iowa basketball players have done before him.
Despite playing in 90 games in his Iowa basketball career, Kriener has made just 2 starts. That could certainly change this season with Tyler Cook’s departure, but I think it’s more likely Kriener comes off the bench a la Nicholas Baer and provides the inside out game we’ve seen from him with the second-string.
As a junior, Kriener posted career highs in minutes played, rebounds, and points scored while also shooting 33% from behind the arc.
In addition to his ability to step back and shoot the three, Kriener’s scoring arsenal is a throwback to an earlier era as he features a beautiful hook shot as the main scoring threat.
This will likely be on full display during Kriener’s three games overseas June 12, 13, and 14.