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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol resonates with the Iowa men’s basketball team.
The Hawkeyes flew into the Washington area that day and spent that night in a hotel on the University of Maryland’s campus in College Park, 14 miles from the Capitol. Iowa played Maryland the following night.
“When we left Iowa City we didn’t know any of that was going on,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. “When we landed, everybody’s phone was blowing up and you’re like ‘Wow!’
“We got to the hotel, there were police cars there. Some of the rioters were staying at our hotel. I think some of our guys rode on the elevator with some of them. So that was a little bit strange.
“You didn’t really know that they were necessarily the ones who had participated, but it became evident the more we learned about what happened.”
Hawkeye guard Connor McCaffery said “We landed, and I’m getting texts like ‘Hey, are you guys there yet, are you OK?’ And I’m kind of confused on what’s going on. Then you check Twitter, you check whatever, and you see what happened.
“There were actually some people who definitely were involved in what happened and were staying at our hotel, and we saw them in the lobby.
“It was unbelievable to land and be hit with all that being in the place we were in Maryland.”
Before the game, Maryland player Darryl Morsell contacted Iowa player Jordan Bohannon to ask if the Hawkeyes would join the Terrapins in making a pregame statement and kneel on the court before the national anthem.
“Just to support everyone who was hurt, injured in any way,” Connor McCaffery said.
Players, coaches and game officials were in unison. Some Maryland players then knelt during the anthem.
“We were just enraged,” Morsell said after the game. “We wanted to use our voice and use our platform to voice our anger.”
“It was just an eerie feeling,” Fran McCaffery said, “knowing what went on that day and being that close to it.
“It was just an incredible day in our country’s history, one that I think makes us all really sad that it happened.”
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