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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Jon Diebler is passing the torch to Jordan Bohannon with grace.
It may be Friday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, it may be next Tuesday, but it’s coming soon. Bohannon needs five more 3-point baskets to pass Diebler as the Big Ten Conference’s all-time men’s basketball leader.
“I’m happy for him,” Diebler said this week by phone. “I’ve gotten to watch him play a couple times, and Jordan’s a great player and a great shooter.”
Diebler recently began working for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets after retiring from a 10-year career playing professionally in Greece, Turkey and Israel.
From 2007 to 2011, he rained in 374 3-pointers for Ohio State. He did it in four seasons, while Bohannon is in his sixth, but there’s no asterisk. Both have played 144 college games.
Diebler got his 374 3s in 900 attempts, while Bohannon has shot 917 of them. With a fifth full season just begun, Bohannon has a chance to shoot himself out of reach of anyone else in the conference for a while, maybe a decade like Diebler did.
There were those who wondered about Bohannon’s motivation for surprising the public and even some teammates by returning for another season.
That was an option because 2020-21 was basically a freebie for NCAA athletes thanks to a waiver because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bohannon will have a second Senior Night.
“I think there’s a lot of people doubting me for the reason I decided to come back,” Bohannon said, “whether it was for me to make some money off the image/likeness.”
Bohannon made 6 of 8 3-pointers in Iowa’s 106-73 season-opening win over Longwood Tuesday in his new role as the Hawkeyes’ 2-guard. He looked as competitive as ever, and playing in front of fans again after a year of basketball during lockdown seems to be rejuvenating.
With a more-reasonable game-time than Tuesday’s 9 p.m., Bohannon should see more friendly faces Friday for Iowa’s 7 p.m. game against Kansas City.
If he sticks five 3-pointers, he’ll get a hat-tip from Diebler, who guested on Bohannon’s podcast a year ago.
“He made the shots, so you have to give him the credit for doing that,” Diebler said.
“I was always hoping deep down that it would be a Buckeye who broke my record, but we’ll see if that happens down the road.”
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