Iowa’s father-son duo set to take on the Boeheims

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Jim and Buddy Boeheim won’t be the only father-son duo playing in the Carrier Dome this Tuesday.Iowa’s starting point guard and team-leader in assists per game (4.9), Connor McCaffery, relays play calls from his dad, Fran, from the sideline to the court. Connor’s younger brother, Patrick, also plays for the Hawkeyes (5-2), but the freshman forward is out for the season because of ‘health issues.’ Like the Boeheims, the McCafferys are the definition of a basketball family.“I think that so much of what I do revolves around sports in general now because of the background that I have,” Connor said. “Coming from a basketball family, that’s what I know.”Before Connor McCaffery could even walk, Fran and Margaret McCaffery placed a basketball in his crib. Connor always knew that basketball would become one of the most important parts of his life. He was born into it.Fran played college ball at Wake Forest and Penn before becoming the head coach at Iowa in 2010. Margaret, Fran’s wife, was an All-American player at Notre Dame.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStarting when Connor was in kindergarten, he would go to practice with his dad every day. Growing up, Connor and his brother Patrick had two coaches at their fingertips. Margaret helped the boys develop their skills and learn the x’s and o’s of the game — coaching them in rec leagues throughout their childhood — while Fran sat on the sidelines and offered the boys pointers after the games.Connor was always playing basketball, as the McCafferys had a five-foot hoop in their basement in Albany, New York. Many of Connor’s friends in the neighborhood also played, so he never had a problem finding guys to shoot around with, he said. By the time Connor had to choose a school, he knew that he wanted to play for his father at Iowa.“They both made the decision pretty early and I love that that was more important to them than any other factor in recruiting or anything else,” Margaret said. “That they wanted to be a part of it with their dad and that they wanted to play together.”Connor said that growing up so ingrained with the sport gave him a recruitment advantage. A four-star recruit and the No. 1 in the state for the class of 2017, Connor committed to Iowa in the beginning of his sophomore year of high school. Patrick did the same three years later.Once the boys got to Iowa, Fran had to find the perfect balance when it came to treating the boys, knowing that any favoring could create a stigma for his sons with their teammates. That’s why his expectations for his sons are no different than they are for his other players.On the sidelines, Margaret still gets extremely nervous because she wants her boys to have success on the court. What makes her most nervous is the fact that she can’t control anything when it comes to the game. Although she was never nervous as a player at Notre Dame, her relationship to the sport and her family makes her more than a passionate fan. In 2006, Margaret was ejected from a game after a profanity-laced outburst toward officials when her husband’s Siena team got upset by Hofstra. Fran was also ejected from that game.Due to Syracuse’s inclement weather, Margaret will be nervous for her husband and sons back home in Iowa for Tuesday’s game against SU. She won’t have to worry about getting ejected, though.Karleigh Merritt-Henry | Digital Design EditorConnor said he tries his best to make his dad and Iowa basketball proud. Last year, they went 23-12 and lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In 2019, they have already taken down then-No. 12 Texas Tech.Margaret and Connor said that trips to the NCAA Tournament, both last year when Connor came off the bench and also when he was younger as a team ball boy, were some of the highlights of their Iowa basketball experience. Upsetting Cincinnati in the tournament last year was something Connor said he’ll never forget.“I got to play in a March Madness game and win a game playing for my dad,” Connor said. “That’s something a lot of people can’t say. I think that’s a memory that I’ll always look back on.”For Fran, the feeling’s mutual. From the five-foot hoop in Albany to playing in front of 15,000 fans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena the McCaffery family’s basketball tradition is playing out in real-time.Said Fran: “Seeing them be happy and proud to wear the Hawkeye jersey I think is something that I’ll always remember.” Comments Published on December 2, 2019 at 11:38 pm Contact Sophie: [email protected]last_img