3-point contest brings “The Big Four” schools together

Emily Hejlik

Once a year, students from Iowa State, Iowa, Drake and Northern Iowa share the same court and the same goal.

“The four major universities in Iowa host the State of Iowa 3-point contest annually, rotating each year to each location, and this was our year to do it,” said Nathan Pick, intramural coordinator for Iowa State’s Recreation Services.

Hilton Coliseum hosted the magic displayed Saturday and Tuesday during halftime of the ISU men’s and women’s basketball games.

The four schools gathered the names of their men’s and women’s 3-point shooting champions and sent them to compete against the other shooters at halftime of the Cyclones’ basketball games.

“Every school gives different prizes each year,” Pick said. “We try to outdo the other schools by giving better prizes to the participants. Each participant received a plaque with their name engraved in it, an ISU intramural champion T-shirt and a warm-up jacket in their school’s color [and] logo.”

Three rounds were totaled — the men shot their first two rounds on Friday night and their final round at Hilton during halftime of the men’s game Saturday against Oklahoma. The women shot their first two rounds before the Cyclone women’s game on Tuesday against Missouri and the final round during halftime of the game.

Each shooter had 60 seconds to shoot five racks of basketballs, each worth one point, except for the last ball on each rack being worth two points. The winner was determined by combining the individual scores from all three rounds.

Josh Doll, senior in actuarial sciences at Drake, won the competition by a wide margin with a total score of 55.

“The minute of shooting at halftime goes by so quick,” Doll said. “Hilton Coliseum is amazing, I wish I could play there sometime. I’m really glad my friends pushed me to do this; it was a great experience.”

Iowa State’s intramural 3-point contest is held in early January. Anyone who wants to participate has the chance to shoot a round.

Following completion, the intramural staff goes through the scores to find the top men’s and women’s contestants.

Kyle Sievers, senior in construction engineering at Iowa State, was a newcomer to the contest.

“I have never done the 3-point contest before, and I only did it because I was playing pick up games at the rec and there was a pretty short line,” Sievers said. “I’ve also never ironically attempted a 3-pointer in a game.”

Brad Schenkelberg, senior criminology major from Northern Iowa, is a veteran to the contest.

“I entered the contest because it’s fun to see how your scores compare to your friends and other players,” Schenkelberg said. “I participated every year and also won the contest my freshman year. The best part was being introduced and having the crowd start to boo — it means the rivalry between the schools in Iowa is still alive and well.”

Even a Hawkeye enjoyed his adventure at Iowa State.

“The ISU [Recreation] Services staff did a great job of hosting this contest,” said Joshua Anderson, graduate of Iowa with an MBA in finance management. “They were very welcoming and kind, and I had a nice visit for which I would like to express my appreciation. Ames was represented well.”

Some partake for reasons other than the magic.

“I entered the contest because I came up just short in the state championship in high school, and I wanted redemption,” said Haley Bosco, senior in secondary education at Drake. “The most exciting part of the contest is getting a free meal at Hickory Park and a warm-up suit in our school’s colors.”

Tamie Drees, junior in athletic training at Northern Iowa, enjoyed the camaraderie.

“Last year I liked meeting and getting to know all the other contestants,” Drees said. “I enjoyed it just as much this year. Also, the gifts weren’t too bad either.”

Steph Carlson, a fan favorite and senior in animal science at Iowa State, appreciated competing on the same court as the Cyclones.

“Chelsea Poppens is my favorite player on the women’s team,” Carlson said. “It was great experiencing Hilton magic and the benefits of the 3-point contest as well. Hickory Park probably wasn’t the best pre-game meal, but it was cool that the Intramural Executive Council Group paid for everything.”

Alexa Bennett, senior in journalism and mass communication at Iowa, overcame the crowd and walked away with the victory for the women’s division.

“I was nervous at first and was obviously not the popular contestant,” Bennett said. “Even though the Cyclones are the rival, Hilton is one of a kind.”