By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Addison O’Grady didn’t have to take an official recruiting visit to the University of Iowa to know that she wanted be a Hawkeye.
The Colorado native already was convinced that she wanted to play basketball for Iowa, so she announced her commitment last week, and without having taken an official visit.
“I wanted to take official visits before I made my decision to Utah and Iowa, but with the possibility of not being able to do that I think I just realized that I wanted to go to Iowa and it really wouldn’t sway my decision either way because I’ve taken unofficials to both of them anyway,” O’Grady said Tuesday in a telephone interview.”
Recruits are currently prohibited from taking official visits as part of the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
O’Grady, a 6-foot-4 center and power forward, had narrowed her choices to Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington before picking the Hawkeyes.
And though she enjoys living in Colorado, and would like to live there when she gets older, there is also a lot that drew O'Grady to Iowa, including her family’s connections to the state of Iowa.
O’Grady’s mother is originally from Denison and her mother’s four sisters and father still live in Iowa.
“I love Colorado and I think I might want to live here when I’m older," O'Grady said. "But I’ve lived her my whole life, so I wanted to go away from Colorado just to experience something else.”
O’Grady also has built a close relationship with the Iowa coaches and she was very impressed with how they helped to turn former Hawkeye center Megan Gustafson into arguably the greatest player in program history.
And if that wasn’t enough, O’Grady also likes how the center and power forward positions are utilized in the Iowa offense under head coach Lisa Bluder.
“One of the things that really pushed them over the edge was watching them play, their style of play, I would fit really well into,” O’Grady said of Iowa. “I love running the court and I love that everyone is always looking to pass to each other, and they use the post players really well, so I think I would fit into that.”
Gustafson’s rise to stardom as a 6-3 center became one of the biggest stories to emerge from the 2018-19 season. She earned consensus National Player of the Year honors and led Iowa to the Elite Eight, and that made a strong impression on O’Grady.
“My family is really big Hawkeye fans so I watched her forever and I followed her development to get so good,” O’Grady said of Gustafson. “So that was cool.”
O’Grady hails from Centennial, Colo. She is ranked as the nation’s 37th-best junior by ESPN.com, and fourth at her position nationally.
She attends Grandview High School in Aurora, and her team was ready to face Cheery Creek in the Class 5A state title game on March 14 when the tournament was cancelled on the eve of the title game due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
O’Grady is now taking classes on online and she mostly works out on her own and stays connected with her teammates from her club team through social media where they have individual shooting competitions.
“It’s crazy,” O’Grady said of the COVID-19 crisis. “It’s like everything is on hold.”