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Hilton Says Goodbye
The hordes of ISU faithful—more than 14,000 strong—take jubilantly to their feet in celebration and awe of the impossible comeback they are witnessing. A low rumble begins to emanate from somewhere inside the arena. At first, the message is unclear.
Dustin Hogue stands on the sideline and gazes out across the Hilton hardwood upon which he's built his name—the setting of a legacy he once thought unlikely to ever be written.
For Hogue, this is hallowed ground.
Another Shot for
You know the story — Niang breaks his foot in the first game of the NCAA tournament, the team loses to eventual national champion Connecticut in the Sweet 16 and Niang goes through a complete body transformation during his recovery.
It’s the story every college basketball fan has already heard since last March, and you can bet Niang has heard it a thousand times more.
“Reflecting back on last year’s NCAA tournament,” I asked, as Niang’s mouth transformed from a grin to pursed lips. “Having to watch it from the sidelines, how much does that—"
“Eat away at me?” Niang interrupted. “Yeah, it’s tough to even go back and think about it.”
Nikki Moody Pushes for Pros
Standing on the floor of Hilton Coliseum, Nikki Moody thought back over her career.
The four-year letter winner thought back to the first few games in the arena, and how far she and her teammates had come in her time at Iowa State.
But the feeling was short-lived. The senior day festivities ended, and Moody said goodbye to her parents and fiancé who had joined her on the court. She had a game to play.
Beseiged On All Sides
The snow has all but vanished, yet the unseasonably warm sun isn't fooling anyone. It's the dead of winter in Ames, which means only one thing to the ISU basketball community.
Kansas is coming.
For the Love of the Three
For seniors Dustin Hogue and Bryce Dejean-Jones, senior night was the last time the two would take the floor at Hilton Coliseum. But before the 21-point second-half comeback against Oklahoma, before the botched tip that proved to be the beginning of a slow start for the Cyclones, before Hogue and Dejean-Jones were honored with Daniel Edozie in the pregame festivities, there was another battle brewing.
Seanna Johnson still remembers when she first heard the news.
She was at practice, hanging around and cracking jokes with teammates when a typical day turned into a day she would never forget and her world was turned upside down.
Her mother, Tanisha Johnson, called:
“Your brother stopped breathing.”
The Sixth Man. The “Long” Ball. Three-sus of Nazareth — Naz Long’s knack for hitting clutch three-pointers has earned him more nicknames than he can count.
He’s as much of a celebrity on the Iowa State campus as any Iowa State athlete, but he will be the first to tell you the rest of the team gets just as much attention as him.
That’s how Naz Long operates: Humble. Confident. Selfless.
Just a Kidd at Heart
It started when Nicole Blaskowsky was the lone freshman on the Stephen F. Austin High School varsity basketball team.
“Everyone called me ‘kid,’ and I’d have to go get the balls and do all that extra work,” she said, laughing. “One of my teammates that was a senior at the time started calling me ‘Kidd’ and it just picked up. I like it. I think it fits. I feel like I’ve always had an inner kid in me.”
Kidd, as she’s still known, is usually seen under the bright lights of Hilton Coliseum, making the crowd roar after hitting a clutch 3-pointer. But when the 5-foot-7-inch junior unlaces her basketball shoes and hangs up her jersey, she won’t be found in the same type of electrifying environment she creates in Hilton.
Instead, she prefers the peaceful environments – places where she isn’t Kidd the basketball player, but rather Kidd the person.