Street Award winner Jordan Bohannon: 'I'm close to Chris, even though I never met him'
IOWA CITY, Ia. — Jordan Bohannon recently received a copy of a touching letter from a former rival of Chris Street’s.
More on that later.
On Tuesday, though, Bohannon received maybe something equally as meaningful: the Chris Street Award, named for the late former Hawkeye and the highest award the Iowa basketball program and coach Fran McCaffery gives to a player annually.
Bohannon’s 2017-18 season became aligned with Street because he intentionally missed a free throw in Iowa’s regular-season finale that would’ve broken Street’s consecutive-free throw school record.
Bohannon didn’t want to break Street’s mark of 34, set in 1992-93, in part because the late native of Indianola never had a chance to extend it to 35. Street was killed in a car accident on Jan. 19, 1993, on the outskirts of Iowa City, midway through his junior season.
So Bohannon missed a free throw on purpose in a tight game against Northwestern on Feb. 25, after making 34 straight free throws himself.
That intentional miss made national headlines; at ESPN, The Washington Post and many more. And since, Bohannon has been flooded with letters and emails commending his noble tribute to a fallen hero.
“I don’t know where you want me to start,” he said Tuesday night before the team’s postseason dinner, regarding the many people that have reached out to him.
The list, he said, includes Big Ten Conference coaches and former Hawkeye players.
“The season we had (a 14-19 record), just trying to brighten it up a little bit," Bohannon said. "That’s pretty cool, just to put life in perspective for a moment.”
A few weeks ago, Bohannon was forwarded a letter sent following Street’s death by Mike Peplowski, a former Michigan State player who played against Street in the early 1990s.
Prior to getting the Street award, Bohannon — a native of Marion who always wanted to be a Hawkeye — talked about the Peplowski letter and what Street means to him.
“It definitely touched me, emotionally, because I still think I’m close to Chris, even though I’ve never met him,” Bohannon said. “It’s just sort of that hometown feeling, that I was born in Iowa and I’m playing at my dream school. It hit me, emotionally.”
2018 Iowa basketball awards
CHRIS STREET AWARD: Jordan Bohannon
TOP PLAYMAKER: Jordan Bohannon
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Luka Garza
MOST IMPROVED: Isaiah Moss
BEST REBOUNDER: Tyler Cook
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARD: Nicholas Baer
KENNY ARNOLD HAWKEYE SPIRIT AWARD: Tyler Cook