Hawkeye guard Jordan Bohannon ahead of pace in his hip rehab, on pace to graduate
IOWA CITY, Ia. — Jordan Bohannon helped kickstart this magical Iowa basketball season.
But the senior point guard has had to sit on the far end of the bench wearing a sportcoat the past 10 weeks. He has been diligently rehabilitating his surgically repaired hip during the day and cheering on his Hawkeye teammates on game nights.
“It’s been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done,” Bohannon told the Register. “But I’m happy the team is doing so well.”
The Marion native averaged 8.8 points in the 10 games he played before shutting his season down and having an operation on a left hip that had been giving him pain. He should qualify for a medical redshirt and be able to play next winter.
Bohannon provided some memorable moments before departing, including a 20-point effort in a big early-season win over Texas Tech and 17 points in a gritty 37 minutes of play in a victory at Syracuse.
He capped it by scoring 12 points in a Dec. 12 victory at Iowa State, signing his shoes and leaving them on the court in a symbolic way to bid farewell to both this season and to his two chances to play at Hilton Coliseum. The shoes were later auctioned off for charity.
Bohannon’s teammates, particularly all-America candidate Luka Garza, picked it up from there. The Hawkeyes have gone 12-7 in Bohannon’s absence to sit 20-10 overall with a No. 18 national ranking. Their final regular-season game is at No. 23 Illinois at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Bohannon has spent the rest of the winter around the team while also hitting the books hard. While the Hawkeyes practiced, Bohannon would go through rehab. He reached one milestone when he was able to start shooting, and has recently been seen before games launching a series of uncontested 3-pointers that have demonstrated he retains his accuracy.
Last week brought another milestone when Bohannon said he began running again, with the aid of an underwater treadmill.
He estimated that he is six weeks ahead of the rehab schedule from the surgery he had on his right hip last May. That timetable was said to be five to nine months, and he returned to action within six months.
So Bohannon will be able to go through a full summer of workouts leading into his second senior season, one he hopes to complete in full pain-free.
The second surgery robbed Bohannon of the chance to live out one of his goals as a Hawkeye — to participate in a Senior Night sendoff at Carver-Hawkeye Arena alongside best friend Ryan Kriener. Kriener, a center, walked to center court Tuesday to receive a framed No. 15 jersey from coach Fran McCaffery, holding it aloft while the crowd roared.
Bohannon was present, but not in his No. 3 jersey. That will wait another year.
The friends will experience one meaningful ceremony together. Bohannon has skipped some Iowa road games this winter while earning the credits that will net him a degree in interdepartmental business studies in May. His long-range plan is to be an entrepreneur. That means he will receive his diploma, along with Kriener, almost a year to the day since his first hip surgery.
“When we started the season, I kind of had that glimpse of hope where I might be able to finish off the season with Ryan. That was a big deal to me. I wanted to walk out with him on Senior Night,” Bohannon said.
“I also wanted to graduate with him, and we’re going to be able to do that in May. We’ve been talking about it. It will be emotional.”
Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.
No one covers the Hawkeyes like the Register. Subscribe today at Des Moines Register.com/Deal to make sure you never miss a moment.