Watch: Black Iowa athletes discuss experiences with racism, hopes for change

The Gazette conducted a roundtable discussion on race and racial equality with seven well-known African American current and former athletes with Cedar Rapids and/or University of Iowa ties.

Watch the recorded livestream here or on our Facebook page.

The panelists talk about their personal experiences as minorities in a predominantly white community, their thoughts on the current Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S., and their hopes and dreams for the future.

 

Related: See what former players said, when they played, which coaches they named

Meet the panelists:

Duez Henderson — Detroit native played basketball at the University of Iowa from 1998 to 2002, including being a team captain his senior year. He played professionally in Europe and has an extensive background in youth basketball coaching. He’s an assistant coach for his wife, former Hawkeye women’s basketball player Randi Peterson, for the women’s basketball team at Washington University in St. Louis.

Kenyon Murray — Played basketball at the University of Iowa from 1992 to 1996, starting 95 of the 122 games he played for the Hawkeyes. He was Michigan’s Mr. Basketball in 1992 at Battle Creek Central High School. He played minor league professional basketball in the U.S. and has experience as an assistant basketball coach at Cedar Rapids Prairie, where he coached his twin sons, Keegan and Kris, who will play hoops at Iowa.

Dedric Ward — Cedar Rapids Washington grad played football at the University of Northern Iowa. He was a third-round draft pick of the NFL’s New York Jets in 1997 and played in the league through 2004 for New York, Miami, Baltimore, New England and Dallas. He was a member of New England’s 2004 Super Bowl championship team. He also was an assistant coach in the NFL from 2006 through 2009.

Jason Edwards — Cedar Rapids Jefferson head girls’ basketball coach since 2012. He is a counselor at Jefferson High School and also an assistant football coach at the school. Graduated from Cedar Rapids Washington and Cornell College and has a master’s degree from Drake University.

Dallas Hobbs —Cedar Rapids Washington grad is a redshirt junior football player at Washington State University. He spent a year at Deerfield Academy prep school in Connecticut prior to going to Washington State. His father, Darrell, played football for Iowa in the 1970s. His sister, Aleena, was an outstanding women’s basketball player at Washington and Coe College.

Matt Mims — Sophomore-to-be basketball player at South Dakota State. He graduated from Cedar Rapids Xavier High School, where he helped Saints win back-to-back state championships. He was two-time all-stater, including the Class 3A player of the year by Iowa High School Basketball Coaches Association as a senior. His father, Mike, played college baseball at Nebraska.

Willie Guy Jr. — Sophomore-to-be basketball player at Des Moines Area Community College in Boone, where he played in every game as a freshman. Excelled at multiple sports in high school at Cedar Rapids Jefferson. His sister, Avery, is a softball player at Iowa. His father, Willie, played football for the Hawkeyes and is an engagement specialist at McKinley Middle School in Cedar Rapids.

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