CEDAR FALLS — Jerry Slykhuis loved basketball. Everyone loved Jerry Slykhuis.
So it seemed a natural to honor his memory with a big hoops tournament.
The first Jerry Slykhuis Showcase is this weekend at Cedar Falls High School. The two-day event features six games (five boys’ and one girls’) and includes three teams from out of state.
Slykhuis and his wife, Jane, died in an automobile accident Dec. 20, 2016, in Kansas. Jerry Slykhuis coached the CF varsity for 32 years, won more than 500 games and was an Iowa High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame member.
“A lot of his friends got together, and former players, and wanted to do something to honor Jerry,” said Cedar Falls Activities Director Gary Koenen. “We came up with this Jerry Slykhuis Showcase basketball event. That’s how it kind of came about.”
A quick ceremony to honor Slykhuis will be conducted before the tournament’s first game Friday night at 6:30 between Summit Christian of Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Minneapolis (Minn.) DeLaSalle. Cedar Falls is scheduled to play Bolingbrook, Ill., at 8 p.m.
Iowa City West gets Bolingbrook at 2 p.m. Saturday, with Dubuque Hempstead playing Summit Christian at 3:45. The Cedar Falls girls’ team faces Ankeny Centennial at 5:30, with the showcase concluding at 7:15 p.m. with a boys’ game between Cedar Falls and DeLaSalle, the six-time defending Class 3A state champion in Minnesota.
Summit Christian assistant coach Dan Gerdes is a CF grad, as are Bolingbrook head coach Rob Brost and Centennial head coach Scott DeJong.
“Just kind of weird how all those connections are,” Koenen said. “They all wanted to be a part of it, a great way to honor Jerry and his love of basketball.
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“We plan on doing it every year, making it an annual event. This is our first year, and we want make it bigger and better every year. Get more teams in. I know there are a couple of teams from the Kansas City area that have already inquired about getting into it next year.”
AROUND THE HOOP
• Cedar Rapids Prairie will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of its 1998 Class 3A state championship with a ceremony Friday, Jan. 12, at the school. Members and coaches of the team will be feated between the sophomore and varsity games pitting Prairie and Waterloo East. Prairie won the ‘98 state championship game over Harlan, 53-48, under the direction of late coach Denny Thiessen.
• Catch Joe Wieskamp at a high school near you. It’ll be worth your time. The senior Muscatine forward and University of Iowa signee continues to post insane numbers in games, including a 44-point, 25-rebound night Tuesday in his team’s 71-57 win over Davenport North. Wieskamp surpassed 1,700 career points with that outburst, one of only 10 preps to hit that mark. Mason City’s Jeff Horner is Class 4A’s all-time leading scorer with 2,194 career points. Muscatine will be in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Jan. 13 to take on Iowa City High as part of the Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout at the U.S. Cellular Center. It’s the fourth game of the day, at 3:30 p.m.
• We are just a tad over three weeks into the season, and there are only three undefeated teams remaining in Class 4A. The fortunate three are top-ranked Iowa City West (3-0), No. 3 Dubuque Senior (3-0) and unranked Western Dubuque (5-0). Senior’s leading scorer, 6-foot-5 wing Noah Carter, is out indefinitely after having to undergo emergency surgery earlier this week to relieve compartment syndrome that had developed in his leg after a thigh bruise originally incurred in an early season practice.
• Waterloo West’s Carondis Harris-Anderson had the state’s highest-scoring game so far this season when put up 50 in his team’s win last Friday night against rival Waterloo East. Harris-Anderson made 19 of 26 shots from the field, 4 of 6 3-pointers and 8 of 9 free throws. The crazy thing? He didn’t have a point in the first quarter.
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