IOWA CITY, Ia. — There’s a concrete basketball court in the Meyer family’s Mason City backyard.
It’s where two daughters used to shoot baskets with their dad well after their bedtime. It’s where two sisters dueled for hours on end, pretending to be Sam Logic and Jaime Printy. It’s where two lifelong Hawkeyes hatched the crazy idea of playing for Lisa Bluder one day.
And now, for Megan and Makenzie Meyer, it’s a reminder that their crazy idea is reality. As of Thursday evening, at least. That’s when Megan, one of the state’s top class of 2019 prospects, committed to Iowa.
She’ll play one season with Makenzie, who will be a senior Hawkeye when her little sister arrives on campus for the 2019-20 season.
"I have to take a step back because I know how difficult that is, because very few kids get that opportunity," Megan and Makenzie's dad, Mark Meyer, told Hawk Central Friday morning. "My wife and I talk about that — that those opportunities are hard to come by. But then for both of them to get to play for their dream school, gosh, it’s just so hard to put into words."
Megan Meyer had the same problem.
"Words can’t even describe it," she said, minutes after recounting how she practically grew up at Iowa football tailgates. "I’m just really excited to be able to live out my childhood dream of being able to play for the Hawkeyes."
Iowa offered Meyer last Sunday, the night before the team’s elite prospect camp. She mulled the decision for a few days before picking Iowa City over offers from Iowa State, South Dakota State and Drake. Creighton and Kansas State had also expressed interest.
Meyer plays for the state’s premier club team, the Ames-based All-Iowa Attack, and she scored 18.5 points per game as Mason City’s starting point guard this year — good for second among Iowa’s sophomores and third among all Class 4A players. She also averaged 2.6 assists and 2.5 steals.
Big sister played the role of sports agent a bit the past year, as Makenzie Meyer made sure Hawkeye coaches noticed her little sister’s numbers.
"I know she was pretty stressed out about it," Makenzie said after practice Friday. "Because she had other good schools that she was considering, but she never really knew if she was going to get the offer from Iowa. So she’s so happy, and it feels good to see her finally relaxed."
The sisters said they’re excited to play on the same team again. They won the 2016 4A state title in their one season together at Mason City. Megan scored 10.1 points per game as a freshman; Makenzie netted 18.3 a game en route to Miss Iowa Basketball honors.
"It’s really fun because before games, we just get really competitive with each other in practice, obviously as sisters are," Megan said. "And so that’s really fun. Being able to just share the memories, winning a state championship, having our whole family be able to support both of us.
"It’s just incredible. We’re so lucky to have those opportunities. And I would just say that we worked really hard. We’re always in the gym, constantly shooting and trying to get each other better."
What is Iowa getting in Megan Meyer?
Makenzie's early collegiate success bodes well for Megan. Mason City head coach Curt Klaahsen said the sisters' coachability and work ethic are identical. In terms of differences, he said Megan, 5-foot-7, is more of a pure point guard, while Makenzie, 5-foot-9, is more of a shooting guard.
"She’s a really level-headed player," Klaahsen said of Megan. "She’s obviously played a lot for us as a freshman and sophomore. Played in the state championship game as a freshman, and I think there’s a very calm demeanor about her. She’s very smart. She understands the game and knows what needs to be done. Nothing fazes her. She’s made so many clutch plays throughout her first two years and she’s just a very heady player.
"It’s not, 'Hey I’m going to go play Division I school and Big Ten and that’s great and that’s good enough.' She wants to keep winning. She wants to get better as an individual and be even better by the time she sets foot on campus."
Both are quality shooters, too, Klaahsen said. Megan's 3-point numbers this year (30.8 percent; 49-for-159) are similar to Makenzie’s from her sophomore year of high school (38.3 percent; 31-for-81). Although Megan was asked to carry a heavier offensive workload.
Klaahsen said Megan's biggest growth will come in the weight room, where she’ll need to add strength for college competition.
"And from a basketball standpoint, I think it’s just the ol’ mid-range game," the coach added. "Her 3-point shooting is really good and getting all the way to the basket has been really good. But when teams start taking that away, you’ve got to keep working on the floaters and the 15-foot jumpers to make it better. But she’s already doing those things and working on those, and we know she’ll continue to do that."
Meyer is Iowa’s first commit for the class of 2019.
Matthew Bain covers preps, recruiting and the Hawkeyes for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewBain_.