Patrick McCaffery says Dad's scholarship offer was real
NEW YORK – It's not 100 percent official yet, but Patrick McCaffery is planning to be a Hawkeye.
The eighth-grader received a scholarship offer from his dad, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, to play Division I basketball while they were in the car after a junior-high game.
"I was like, 'Cool,'" Patrick said before Iowa's 2K Classic consolation game vs. Syracuse. "But Mom (Margaret McCaffery) said I wasn't allowed to commit until high school."
When asked if he would consider any other schools besides Iowa, he said, "Probably not."
Patrick was put on the spot Thursday night during an in-game interview with ESPN's Jeff Goodman.
Goodman told Patrick he would ask him about his dad's scholarship offer. So Patrick went to the Iowa locker room to check with Dad if the offer was legit.
"He said, 'Yeah, that was real,'" Patrick said.
Patrick and his father have had a well-publicized last eight months. Patrick had a malignant tumor in his thyroid removed on March 19 — the same day that his father's Hawkeyes played Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament.
Patrick is now cancer-free, and getting back into shape. He takes a pill daily and has blood drawn about once a month, but he said he's feeling "great."
At almost 6-foot-5, Patrick is still growing. He's already dunking for his North Central Junior High team. He said he'd like to play the "3" position, small forward, in college.
"Like (Jarrod) Uthoff," he said.
He missed school the last few days to be here with the team. He got some shots in both days on Madison Square Garden's famous floor.
His older brother, Connor, already has committed to be a Hawkeye. Connor is a sophomore-to-be for state champion program Iowa City West.
Fran McCaffery recently signed a contract extension through the 2019-20 season. If Iowa goes to the NCAA Tournament this season, that gets extended to 2021-22.
Because of his desire to play for his father, Patrick doesn't envision having a traditional recruiting process.
"I think it'd be a pretty cool thing to go through," Patrick said. "But it'll be a lot different than other kids. My dad's the coach. Coaches probably won't want to waste their time recruiting me if I'm just going to go back to (play for) him."