First College Visit Memorable for Kareem Earl
Iowa City West Sophomore, Legacy Recruit Checks Out Hawkeyes
IOWA CITY, Iowa – We frequently hear about experiences being surreal for people. And that’s exactly how the Earl family felt this past weekend on the University of Iowa campus.
Acie Earl’s name is synonymous with Hawkeye Basketball as one of the program’s finest players ever. Tiffini Stevenson Earl, JD, owns multiple degrees from the school, and is its Director of Equity Investigations and ADA Coordinator
Office of Institutional Equity.
Acie and Tiffini toured a campus they’ve been on thousands of times in a different capacity on Saturday. They accompanied their son, Kareem Earl, a ’24 guard from Iowa City West, on his unofficial visit.
Kareem was blown away.
“Overall, the visit was an amazing experience,” he told HawkFanatic.com. “The atmosphere was great, especially this being my first college visit. I enjoyed the photoshoot and being able to watch the practice. My favorite thing had to be the talk with Coach (Fran) McCaffery.”
McCaffery’s youngest son, Jack McCaffery, is Kareem’s teammate at West. They also run with the same club team, The Iowa Barnstormers, which claims two more of Fran McCaffery’s sons, Connor and Patrick, as former players.
“Coach McCaffery and I have a great relationship, which developed when I started going to the Iowa Basketball Camps when I was in third grade,” Kareem said.
Fran McCaffery has shared his thoughts on Kareem’s game for years. Their conversation on the visit continued that theme.
“What me and coach talked about was something I’ve heard since I was little. And that is “being that dude.” He told me I have too big of a skillset to not do more on the court, including being a great defender. Coach has very high praise for me and that is why I respect him so much as a coach. Plus, he always has great advice,” Kareem said.
The visit included viewing the Hawkeyes working out and spending time with current student-athletes in the program.
“When watching practice, you could tell the chemistry and connection between the players and coaches were really good. I had a great time talking to Connor and Patrick at lunch. I had been following them since I was really young,” Kareem said.
“For them to do what they did at West High and for me to attend West right now is a pretty big deal. Both of them and everyone on the team are cool, laid-back people.”
The stop also provided special father-son time for Acie and Kareeem.
“It was great having him with me on the visit and telling me stories about when he played at Iowa and comparing the current Carver(-Hawkeye) Arena to the Carver Arena when he played,” said Kareem, who is undecided on a college major at this point.
In addition to Iowa, other programs are noticing Kareem.
“My AAU coach has informed me that there is interest from Clemson, Butler, Marquette, Drake and other schools. I have a visit coming up at Boise State,” he said.
Kareem played in 7 of West’s 11 games during the COVID-impacted 2000-21 season. He averaged 7.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists as a freshman. He connected on 36.8 percent (14-38) of this three-point attempts.