Gabe Olaseni reveals travel plans for father's funeral

Chad Leistikow

IOWA CITY, Ia. – Gabe Olaseni doesn't expect to miss any game action when he attends his father's funeral in his native England later this month.

And the way the Iowa senior center is playing, that's a good thing for the Hawkeyes.

Olaseni tied a career high with 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds in Saturday's 77-47 win over Maryland-Baltimore County.

Afterward, he said he would leave for London on Dec. 13 – the day after a showdown with in-state rival Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The funeral is two days later.

Iowa then won't play again until Dec. 20 against Northern Iowa in the Big Four Classic.

"I would obviously miss any game for my dad's funeral," Olaseni said. "It just happened to work out that way."

Olaseni had an emotional night Wednesday, after Iowa won at No. 12 North Carolina, 60-55, in a nationally televised game.

"It all hit him Wednesday night in the locker room," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "I mean, it was kind of a unique locker room. It's about as happy a group as I've ever been around in all my years playing and coaching. Yet he was bawling his eyes out. His teammates had their arms around him. The guys are dancing and they see him, so it was a little more about him at that point than anything else."

Olaseni has averaged 10.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in the four games since Benson Olaseni passed away the morning of Nov. 26.

He didn't think the uptick in his game was related to extra inspiration. But he did feel the emotional presence of his father in Chapel Hill.

"I would've liked for my dad to see it," Olaseni said. "But I feel like he was there."