When Joe Wieskamp visited Iowa on Tuesday, it was a family affair. When he let everybody know he was committing to the Hawkeyes, it became a celebration.
The 6-foot-5, 175-pound shooting guard from Muscatine (IA) High and the Iowa Barnstormers AAU program brought with him to campus his parents, two brothers and all of his grandparents.
"It was definitely a fun day. Getting to see everybody’s reaction was fun and exciting for me," Wieskamp said.
"We sat down with Coach (Fran) McCaffery and talked about some things and then I told them (he was committing) and there was definitely a lot of excitement. We went around and showed my grandparents the facilities. Myself and my parents had already seen them, so I wanted to show them where I’d be. Then we met with the other coaches and everyone was just very excited."
The Wieskamps are a Hawkeye family. Despite scholarship offers from Iowa State, Northern Iowa and interest from Wisconsin and other schools, Joe’s heart is at Iowa, a school he’d visited on multiple occasions.
"I grew up liking the Hawks and dreamed of playing for them," he said. "Once I got those offers, I definitely thought about it more. I looked at all aspects of things and felt like Iowa had everything that I wanted."
The close proximity of Muscatine to Iowa City (40 miles) played a big role in Wieskamp’s decision, he said.
"Be able to get up there in 45 minutes or whatever was just very important for me. I really like the coaching staff. I like the guys that play there, the type of game that they all play and I like their style of play. I like the whole program and every aspect of it," he said.
In his first year of high school basketball last winter, Wieskamp averaged 18.6 points and 6.1 rebounds last season. He connected on 89 of 113 free throws (78.8 percent) and 40 of 100 three-pointers (40 percent).
"My focus definitely turns to my game and my craft and getting better at the things I’m not as good at," Wieskamp said looking ahead with his commitment behind him. "I feel like now I have a whole lot of time and some relief just to go out there and play the game that I love and continue to grow as a player."
The Cyclones offered Wieskamp a scholarship two days before Iowa did this spring. Iowa State Coach Fred Hoiberg left for the Chicago Bulls last week and the school named former Murray State Coach Steve Prohm as his replacement Monday.
Wieskamp said the change in Ames didn’t impact his decision.
"I always liked Iowa so that didn’t affect me too much," he said.
Wieskamp plays in the same AAU program as do Connor and Patrick McCaffery, Fran’s two oldest sons. Connor (’16) committed to Iowa last year. Patrick (’19) was presented an offer during the winter and would shock the college basketball world if he didn’t end up playing for his father.
"Being familiar with those guys and knowing what those guys are about definitely helped," Wieskamp said.
Wieskamp said he projects as a two guard in college as of now. He said depending on how he grows and develops, playing point guard and small forward could be possibilities as well.
After celebrating with his family and the Iowa coaches on Tuesday, Wieskamp reflected on Muscatine and the support he’s received from the community.
"It means the world for the high school and the town. I know there are a lot of Hawkeye fans that definitely would love to see me play for the Hawks. I can only imagine how people will react and what they’ll say to me. It’s definitely exciting. I’m glad to be able to go up there and show out for my city and play for the Hawks," he said.