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Ronnie Lester: Iowa Time Machine June 10, 1980

Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On June 10, 1980, the Portland Trailblazers selected all-time Hawkeye Great Ronnie Lester with the 10th overall pick in the NBA draft. A four-year starter for Lute Olson, Lester shines as one of the greatest Hawkeye hoopers ever.

Born in Canton, Mississippi, Lester’s family moved to Chicago during his childhood. A standout at Dunbar Vocational High School, Lester poured in 27 points per game as a senior for the Mighty Men. Recruited to Iowa by Lute Olson, Lester arrived in Iowa City poised to make an immediate impact on the hardwood for the Hawkeyes.

Lester averaged 13.4 points, 3.6 points, and 2.4 rebounds during his freshman season while playing alongside Hawkeye great Bruce “Sky” King. The next year, Lester’s game grew, and he averaged 19.9 points, 6 assists, and 2.5 rebounds while claiming All-Big Ten First Team status. Lester’s junior season saw the ascendant Hawkeyes capture the Big 10 Championship. Injured for a significant part of his senior season, Lester still helped the Hawkeyes to the 1980 Final Four.

Drafted by the Portland Trailblazers, Lester returned to Chicago as a member of the Bulls after a trade. Still recovering from his knee injury, Lester struggled to find a place in the lineup over his four years in Chicago, averaging 5.4 points, 3.9 assists, and 1.1 rebounds in his final season. Waived by the Bulls and signed by the Los Angeles Lakers, Lester backed up Magic Johnson on the NBA Championship winners in 1985. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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