116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A group of seven Iowa Hawkeye fans from Cedar Rapids started a nonprofit in 1979, the Iowa Hawkeye Rebounders Ltd., to support Iowa basketball. They ended up organizing the largest nationwide college all-star game for three years in a row, from 1982 to 1984.
It started when lawyer Jim Chipokas talked to Iowa coach Lute Olson about holding Hawkeye intrasquad games at the 7,200-seat Five Seasons Center arena (now the Alliant Energy PowerHouse) that had just opened in downtown Cedar Rapids in April 1979.
Chipokas pulled together six friends — radio sportscaster Bob Brooks, orthodontist Dr. Bill DeKock, insurance man Jim Davis, banker Bill Coppock, accountant Bill Schneider and stockbroker Dick Roeder — and the group incorporated themselves as the Iowa Hawkeye Rebounders.
All but one of the men graduated from the University of Iowa. Coppock graduated from the University of Colorado, but he fit in after living in Iowa for 16 years.
The Rebounders sponsored the first intrasquad game at the Five Seasons in November 1979. That event attracted 4,100 fans and netted more than $4,600. The profit from the second intrasquad game in 1980, attended by more than 6,600 fans, was $15,000.
The third intrasquad games was Nov. 11, 1981, when Olson's 12-man squad split into two teams. Profits from the game went to the Iowa athletics department.
The Rebounders knew they had a good thing.
But Chipokas thought the group could do even more. His idea was to invite Iowa coach Olson and North Carolina coach Dean Smith to coach a postseason game with all-star teams of seniors from the Big Ten and the Atlantic Coast conferences.
The Rebounders announced their plans for the first 'Super Shootout' at a media luncheon Sept. 21, 1981, at the Roosevelt Hotel in Cedar Rapids.
It would work like this:
The game would be between two teams of seniors from the Big Ten and ACC scheduled two days after the NCAA finals.
The annual event would alternate between the Five Seasons and the Greensboro, N.C., Coliseum. (It ended up being in Cedar Rapids only.)
Team coaches would be Al McGuire and Billy Packer, former coaches and current NBC color commentators. (NCAA rules prevented Smith and Olson from coaching.)
The two coaches and the Rebounders would choose 10-man squads from each conference.
The winning players would get $1,000 and the losing players would get $500. (That was changed into charitable donations to participating universities.)
The TV contract for national coverage would run for three years.
The television rights for the first Shootout in 1982 went to CBS (via the Katz network of New York), with ESPN airing the game on delay.
But all of that depended on whether the Five Seasons could upgrade its lighting. CBS informed Chipokas that the arena lighting was not adequate for broadcasting.
Chipokas went to the Five Seasons Commission, whose members said they didn't have the money to pay for new lights. But Chipokas argued future televised events at the arena hinged on improving the lighting. The Rebounders and the arena agreed to split the bill, and an additional 24 metal haloid lights were installed, doubling the lighting.
NBC's Dick Enberg was hired for the game's play-by-play, and Indiana Coach Bobby Knight provided color commentary.
Packer was assigned to coach the ACC squad. McGuire got the Big Ten team.
'There's a bitter rivalry between the two of us,' Packer said. 'Hopefully, by the second day, Al will know the names of at least one or two of his players.'
McGuire countered: 'Billy has static in his attic, whereas I have no problems up there. He never coached anyway. He wasn't a head coach. He was an assistant at Wake Forest. He was the guy who made sure the players never danced or drank beer.'
The game's first hitch occurred when most of the ACC players didn't show up. The format changed, putting all the players into one pool from which McGuire and Packer chose their teams.
Unexpectedly, the televised contest found itself competing against a news conference by President Ronald Reagan. But even with those problems, the arena was sold out and the TV broadcasts reached millions.
The 1983 Shootout II featured a Big Ten vs. USA all-stars matchup and received postseason certification from the NCAA, which Chipokas said was like getting the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
The format changed again for 1984's Shootout with a combination of Big Ten/Pac-10 All-Stars taking on a team of USA All-Stars. The USA team's running game put them ahead by halftime, and it won, 101-83.
With a crowd of 5,800, the game, for the first time in three years, was not a sellout.
Whether there would be a fourth game was up in the air, but McGuire said, 'I just hope you people in Cedar Rapids don't let this (game) die. Rally around it, and make it grow.'
The Shootout's three-year contract with the Katz network had run its course, and the Rebounders' efforts to find another network for 1985 fizzled.
Nevertheless, the Rebounders began planning a 1986 show reformatted as an East-West game and filed a request for a date with the NCAA while looking for sponsors.
The game never happened and the short Super Shootout era was over. But for three years, Cedar Rapids was in the national spotlight for college basketball.