IOWA CITY — Sydney Affolter could not have picked a better time to visit.
Carver-Hawkeye Arena was crammed with 13,420 fans Sunday, to see a surprising University of Iowa women’s basketball team, and to honor Megan Gustafson during her jersey-retirement ceremony afterward.
Affolter was sold.
“It was a crazy atmosphere,” Affolter said Sunday, after the lights had dimmed and the volume had eased. “Playing in that kind of environment will be really cool.”
A junior from Marist High School in Chicago, Affolter committed to the Hawkeyes.
“I wasn’t expecting this when we were coming here today,” she said. “Everyone says you just get that feeling, and I got that feeling here today.”
Affolter is a 5-foot-11 wing. She averages 15 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game for a Marist squad that is 21-3 and ranked No. 5 in Illinois’ Class 4A. She picked the Hawkeyes over a host of Big Ten rivals, as well as Arizona State and others.
“I think I can do a lot of things,” she said. “I can shoot the 3, I can drive. I’ll play post if they want me to, and I can play the point.”
Affolter’s father, Ed, is an assistant coach at Marist. Her older brother, Trey, plays at St. Ambrose University in Davenport.
Affolter becomes Iowa’s second commit from the Class of 2021, joining A.J. Ediger from Hamilton, Mich. The Class of 2020 consists of Caitlin Clark (West Des Moines Dowling), Sharon Goodman (Crestwood), Shateah Wetering (Montezuma) and Lauren Jensen (Lakeville, Minn.).
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