Megan Gustafson describes the emotions in seeing her jersey retired. Hawk Central
Just when it seemed all the recruiting fun had ended, the Iowa women's basketball program received one last treat Sunday afternoon.
Sydney Affolter, a 5-foot-11 wing from Marist High School in Chicago, committed to the Hawkeyes not long after Iowa's 74-57 win over Michigan State and Megan Gustafson's jersey retirement.
Inside a near-empty Carver-Hawkeye Arena, where more than 13,000 fans had just been, Affolter's decision led to excited screams from Iowa's staff. She officially announced her decision Wednesday morning on Twitter.
"First, I'd like to thank God," Affolter wrote in her commitment tweet, "without him I wouldn't be in this position. I cannot express enough gratitude to everyone who has helped me through the recruiting process. My mom and brother have been the best support system anyone could ask for.
"To my dad, thank you for coaching and pushing me harder than I could have ever imagined. You really have taught me to be the best player possible. I would also like to thank Coach Connolly and my MHS teammates, along with my AAU teammates and coaches. They have taught me lessons I will carry on with me forever.
"I've been extremely blessed and humbled to be recruited by such great schools, which has made my decision very difficult. With that said, I am excited to announce that I have committed to play for Coach (Lisa) Bluder at the University of Iowa. GO HAWKEYES."
Affolter received an offer from Iowa last summer and visited Iowa City in October before returning this past weekend. The coveted 2021 prospect chose the Hawkeyes over offers from DePaul, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas State, Northwestern, Minnesota, Xavier, Marquette, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Washington State, Arizona State and others.
Many of those opportunities came via strong play on the AAU circuit, where Affolter runs with All-Iowa Attack alongside many of the state's best player. In high school, she averages 15 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game for a Marist team ranked fifth in Illinois’ Class 4A.
After signing a hyped 2020 group, Iowa adds Affolter to its 2021 class, which also includes A.J. Ediger, a 6-foot-2 forward from Michigan who committed to in June.
Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.