Prep Basketball

A family tradition: North Linn's Austin Hilmer decides to join brother, Jake, at Upper Iowa

North Linn's Austin Hilmer (25) looks to pass while guarded by Boyden-Hull's Andrew Frick (3) during the first quarter o
North Linn's Austin Hilmer (25) looks to pass while guarded by Boyden-Hull's Andrew Frick (3) during the first quarter of their Class 2A state championship game at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Friday, March 13, 2020. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — If you haven’t noticed by now, having two Hilmers on your team is probably better than one.

Upper Iowa University noticed, which is why it offered a scholarship to North Linn junior-to-be basketball guard Austin Hilmer on a visit Wednesday. Hilmer accepted the offer from head coach Brooks McKowen and will become a Peacock in a couple of years.

“I went on a visit today, and it was a great experience, and it’s close to home, which played a big factor,” Austin Hilmer said.

Obviously, getting to play again with older brother, Jake, played a big factor, too. Jake Hilmer, 2019’s Iowa Co-Mr. Basketball award winner, started all 30 games as a freshman for Upper Iowa, averaging 12.2 points and picking up 137 assists to 66 turnovers as the team’s point guard.

Austin helped North Linn to the Class 2A state championship as a freshman in 2019 and a state runner-up finish in 2020. He averaged 17.7 points this past season and had 214 assists, which led the state.

That assist thing is a familiar trait of the Hilmer family. They are distributors of the basketball.

“I committed earlier than normal, but I felt this was the right fit for me,” Austin Hilmer said. “It just felt right. It means a lot to play with my brother again because he has helped me get to this point. Going to the same school he goes to definitely will be a positive for me, and I will get to learn from him.”

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Hilmer could have certainly waited to see what other offers he might be able to gather in the next two years, but he didn’t need them.

“Committing early is something I am happy about, knowing what my future is,” Hilmer said. “I knew whether I committed today or a year from now, Upper Iowa was going to be my decision.”

Hilmer also is one of the state’s best baseball players and is expected to play quarterback this fall for the North Linn football team.

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

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