In revealing May 20 that he would return to Iowa for his senior basketball season, Peter Jok said he wanted to up his game to the point where he earn distinction as the Big Ten Conference’s player of the year.
That same day, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said he would do everything he could to help Jok become a first-round 2017 NBA Draft pick.
Monday’s news certainly helps with both goals.
Jok has been invited to the prestigious Nike Basketball Academy, which runs July 24-28 in Los Angeles and features NBA stars LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis.
The annual event since 2007 includes the top 20 to 30 returning college stars, and for the third straight year includes a Hawkeye. Aaron White (2014) and Jarrod Uthoff (2015) were previous participants, and both parlayed the skills camp into first-team all-Big Ten seasons.
Jok’s training was sidetracked slightly by a thumb injury he suffered during an NBA workout with the New Orleans Pelicans before he decided to return to Iowa. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard will be the only fourth-year senior on the Hawkeyes’ roster and is the only returning starter.
Overall, it’s been a big summer for Jok already. In addition to positive NBA feedback, he was chosen Sunday night with the No. 1 overall pick in the Prime Time League draft (though he'll be in L.A. during the PTL playoffs). And now the Nike news.
“Nobody’s worked harder since the season ended than Peter Jok — on his body or on his game,” McCaffery said in late May. “I’ve been really proud of his leadership.”