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During a time when solid sports vibes are hard to find, the Iowa women's basketball team got a sliver of good Tuesday evening.
Addison O'Grady, a 6-foot-3 forward and ESPN's No. 37 overall prospect in the 2021 class, committed to the Hawkeyes via Twitter. Iowa lands Grady from a rare recruiting ground of Centennial, Colorado, just 25 miles southeast from Denver. O'Grady joins Michigan forward AJ Ediger and Chicago product Sydney Affolter as Iowa's junior commits.
"I'm so thankful to be in such an amazing situation with a great support system," O'Grady wrote to open her commitment tweet. "I'd like to gives thanks to my family, coaches, teammates and trainers for helping me reach the place that I am today."
O'Grady's pledge comes amid recruiting uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The NCAA initially enacted a dead period that stopped all in-person recruiting until April 15, then extended that period to May 31.
But O'Grady trusted her Hawkeye relationships enough to make a move. Iowa now has another high-ceiling post in tow.
"I would say that Iowa did a great job at staying in contact with me and giving me as much information about their program as they could without actually having me on campus," O'Grady said in a Tuesday night text to Hawk Central. "We even had a Zoom meeting in place of the home visit that they were planning on making during this time, and that allowed me to connect with all of the coaches at once and really get to know them and Iowa better."
O'Grady is no stranger to high-end competition. She competed in the USA Trials last May, as well as the 2018 Nike Nationals and the 2017 Nike Tournament of Champions. All three performances earned strong reviews.
"Versatile, blue-collar front court performer — a workhorse on the glass who scores through contact in the block," Collegiate Girls Basketball Report owner Dan Olson wrote last May after watching O'Grady at the US Trials. "Mobile in uptempo game, emerging face-up game in the key — and short corner keeps the defense guessing. Continues to develop as a coveted interior player in the 2021 class."
Just a few weeks ago, O'Grady led No. 4 seed Grandview High School to the Colorado Class 5A title game. It was set to face Cherry Creek High School, the No. 2 overall seed, until the CHSAA canceled all remaining high school basketball games on March 12. Colorado had crowned girls' basketball champions every year since 1976.
No doubt a bitter end to an incredible year. Less than four weeks later, though, O'Grady has reason to celebrate again.
"Thanks to my parents who have made so many sacrifices in order for me to pursue what I love," O'Grady continued in her commitment tweet. "Thanks to all of my coaches and trainers for spending countless hours in the gym with me and helping me develop my game. And thanks to all of my family and friends for supporting me in this journey. Also, I appreciate all of the time and energy that coaches have spent recruiting me in this process.
That being said, I'm excited to announce that I am committing to the University of Iowa to further my education and basketball careers. Go Hawks."
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.