116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SOLON — When Callie Levin and her family visited the University of Iowa women’s basketball staff Monday, they didn’t go empty-handed.
“We picked up a cookie cake at Hy-Vee, and it said ‘HAWKEYES’ on it,” Levin said. “I think that made them a little suspicious.”
If that wasn’t enough, Levin’s first question was.
“How many Final Fours are we going to?”
And with that Levin, a sophomore-to-be from Solon High School, committed to the Hawkeyes. She is their first pledge from the Class of 2024.
“It’s 15 minutes from home, super close,” Levin said Monday night. “I want my family and friends to always be able to support me.”
A 5-foot-9 guard, Levin chose the Hawkeyes over Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Drake and others.
“I’m so grateful and humble for all of the calls from all of those coaches,” she said. “But sometimes it gets stressful, and I don’t want to waste anybody’s time.
“When I went to Iowa’s practice, Lisa (Bluder), Jan (Jensen) ... the whole staff ... they felt like my second mothers.”
Levin said she and Bluder “live about 10 minutes apart” in Solon.
The last time — the only other time — a Solon Spartan took the short trip down Highway 1 to play at Iowa, it turned out all right.
Lindsey Meder, who led Solon to back-to-back state titles, ranks fourth on Iowa’s all-time scoring list with 1,906 points and is No. 2 in career 3-pointers.
We won’t know Levin’s impact at Iowa for a good, long while. But we know she now has a seat at the table waiting for her.
Levin received an offer from the Hawkeyes in mid-June. Less than two weeks ago, her AAU team from All Iowa Attack captured a 16-and-under championship at Nike Nationals.
Now the focus turns to her sophomore high school season. She averaged 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 4.0 steals per game as Solon (17-6) earned a share of the Wamac Conference East Division championship and reached the Class 3A regional-final round.
The league title was Solon’s first since an Eastern Iowa Hawkeye Conference crown in 2007.
A first-team 3A all-state selection and a member of The Gazette’s all-area team, Levin shot 47.1 percent from the field, 71.7 percent from the free-throw line.
The entire Solon roster returns for the 2021-22 season, and the Spartans figure to be a preseason top-10 team in 4A.