Hawkeye fans honor Chris Street in emotional halftime ceremony

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — The biggest crowd of the season at Carver-Hawkeye Arena stood and clapped loud and long at halftime of Saturday’s game, honoring the life and legacy of the late Chris Street.

Former Iowa men's basketball head coach Tom Davis, left, is consoled by Mike and Patty Street, the parents of Chris Street, during a halftime ceremony at Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, January 20, 2018. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Street's death.

“There’s no greater story than Chris Street. Today’s story is not a sad one. It’s a story of remembrance and celebration,” retired Des Moines Register sportswriter and author of a Street biography Rick Brown said at the outset of the emotional ceremony.

“It’s also a story of team and family. Chris wasn’t just a Hawkeye. He was heart and he was hustle. He was Iowa, and he was a part of everyone sitting here today.”

Street, an Indianola native, was killed in a car accident Jan. 19, 1993, in the middle of his junior season as a Hawkeye forward. One of the most popular players in program history has also become perhaps the most indelible. The team annually gives out an award in Street’s name to the player who best exemplifies his spirit.

University of Iowa basketball player Chris Street and coach Tom Davis.

Book excerpt: Chris Street's final game with the Iowa Hawkeyes

Many of those who have won the award over the years came back to pay tribute to Street, including Jess Settles, Adam Haluska, Jarryd Cole and Mike Gesell.

The sell-out crowd watched a video tribute to Street that included these words from his former coach, Tom Davis: “He was fun to be with as a teammate, as a coach, as a son. He had a lot of good things about him — his competitiveness, his athletic ability.”

Davis was later introduced to the crowd and received a large ovation while tears welled in his eyes. He was joined by former Hawkeye assistant coach Gary Close, who recruited and mentored Street.

Street’s parents, Mike and Patty, were the final ones introduced and joined all of those gathered — including some of Street’s former teammates — at halfcourt for hugs and photographs.

Many fans wore white shirts with Street’s No. 40 on them, as did the Hawkeye players in pregame warmups. His jersey covered an empty seat on the Iowa bench.