Prep Baseball

North Linn standout Jake Hilmer commits to Upper Iowa to play 2 sports

North Linn's Jake Hilmer (14) strikes a pose after making a basket while being fouled during the fourth quarter of their semifinal game of the Iowa Boys' State Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
North Linn's Jake Hilmer (14) strikes a pose after making a basket while being fouled during the fourth quarter of their semifinal game of the Iowa Boys' State Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The temptation was there to let this whole thing play out. He admits that.

Everyone wants to play Division I.

But, ultimately, Jake Hilmer determined his very first college offer was his best one. So he’s jumping on it.

The North Linn senior announced Thursday he will attend Upper Iowa University next year, where he will play both basketball and baseball. He is an all-stater in both.

“It just got to the point where I decided everything I wanted was there,” Hilmer said. “I’m 100 percent all in.”

Hilmer is the consummate point guard in basketball, a smart, selfless and ultra-quick player and distributor who is the state’s record holder in both single-season and career assists with a full season yet to play. A fixture on the AAU circuit, the only thing seemingly holding him back from many D-I offers is his lack of size at 5-foot-11.

Hilmer said he had scholarship offers from seven Division II schools. He averaged 23.1 points per game in 2017-18, leading North Linn to a state tournament runner-up finish in Class 1A.

In baseball, he hit .511 with 46 stolen bases this past season as North Linn advanced to the semifinals of the 1A state tournament. As a pitcher, he was 9-3 with a 1.14 earned run average, allowing just 40 hits and striking out 91 in 67 1/3 innings.

Hilmer said he will get a full scholarship from UIU, with two-third of it coming from basketball and one-third from baseball.

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“It’s a special situation,” he said. “Not very many kids are offered that opportunity. I’ve been offered that opportunity to play two sports, and I really think I can do it.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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