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Jess Settles: Iowa Time Machine July 7, 1974

Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On July 7, 1974, Iowa Hawkeye basketball legend Jess Settles was born. Iowa’s Mr. Basketball in 1993 while starring at Winfield-Mt. Union, Settles went on to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year (1994), All-Big Ten First Team (1996), and Honorable Mention All-American (1996).

Settles collected more than 2,000 points during a decorated career at Winfield-Mount Union. A three-time all-state selection, the future sports broadcaster also found time to pen a weekly column called ‘Above the Rim’ for the Winfield Beacon during his prep days. Settles led Winfield-Mount Union to a 28-0 start as a senior before the Wolves fell to Hudson in the state tournament. Committed to Iowa, Settles made the short drive to Iowa City to play for Dr. Tom Davis’s Hawkeyes.

Grabbing a starting spot at Iowa as a freshman, Settles helped a Hawkeye team still reeling from Chris Street's recent death. Settles proved a unifying presence for the Hawks, averaging 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounding a game to earn Big 10 Freshman of the Year honors. Back injuries bogged down Settles over a career extended by medical redshirt seasons. Over six years with the program, Settles set the tone for hard work and was awarded the Chris Street Award six times.

“I don’t know that anybody ever outworked him,” said Tom Davis, who coached Settles at Iowa. “He was just so unselfish. He’d work hard for all the right reasons. He wasn’t doing it to get himself glory. He was doing it to make the play to help his team.” Settles racked up 1,611 points and 747 rebounds for the Hawkeyes, becoming an all-time fan favorite and leaving many wondering what might have been had his body cooperated with his drive. Now a college basketball play-by-play analyst, Settles continues to bring insights on the game to Iowans from the sidelines. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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