Iowa point guard intentionally misses free throw to preserve fallen player's record

Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon intentionally missed a free throw on Sunday in Iowa City — but had a pretty good reason. (AP)
Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon intentionally missed a free throw on Sunday in Iowa City — but had a pretty good reason. (AP)

Missing a free throw isn’t generally considered a positive thing. It’s one of the “little things” that coaches across nearly all levels stress.

Yet in Iowa point guard Jordan Bohannon’s case, a missed free throw was exactly what the situation called for.

Bohannon stepped up to the free-throw line with a little more than two minutes to go in Iowa’s regular-season finale against Northwestern on Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa, having made 34 consecutive free throws. One more, and Bohannon would have the all-time school record.

But the sophomore short-armed it, missing off the front of the rim. And he was happy.

Iowa legend Chris Street, who played for the Hawkeyes in the early 1990s, had made 34 consecutive free throws before he was killed in a car accident on Jan. 19, 1993, in the middle of his junior season. Bohannon wasn’t going to knock Street — whose legacy has lived on in Iowa City since that night in 1993 — out of the record books.

“That record was not mine to have,” Bohannon said in a Big Ten Network interview after the game. “That record deserves to stay in his name.

“I’ve been really close with his family these past couple years. Getting to know them a lot and just listening to his story, honestly. It’s really got me emotional these past couple games because I’ve known what I wanted to do. Obviously it’s a different time than when I wanted to do it, but that’s something I wanted to do. Like I said, it’s been an honor to get to know his family.”

Bohannon finished with a team-high 25 points in the Hawkeyes’ 77-70 win over the Wildcats. The Marion, Iowa, native is averaging nearly 13 points per game, and shooting 89.7 percent from the charity stripe.

Mike and Patty Street — Chris’ parents and Hawkeye season ticket holders — embraced Bohannon on the court afterward.

“Christopher would want him to do to the best he could do and stay after it,” Mike told Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register. “But that was Jordan’s decision, and if that’s what he wanted to do, then we appreciate it. We certainly in the future want him to get another shot at it.

“I told him, ‘Next time, you need to go right on by.’ “

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