April 2013

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What's in a Nickname? By Arlene Freudenberg F reshman guard Anthony Clemmons can't be confused with former NFL lineman Warren Sapp. In the University of Iowa men's basketball team's locker room, the two are forever linked, thanks to the reputation Clemmons built as a young football player. "It started when I was around seven or eight; I was a little chubby kid and wore No. 99," said Clemmons. "My first game, my little league coach asked me, 'Do you know who Warren Sapp is? He's one of the best defensive tackles.' In that game, I had four or five sacks, so coach started calling me 'Baby Sapp.' After that, the name kind of stuck with me." As Clemmons got older and grew, he dropped the "Baby," but wasn't sure if the nickname would follow him to Iowa City. "I saw it in a newspaper," said Clemmons. "It said something like Sapp is making a big impact, and I was like 'Wow, people know me as Sapp.'" Warren Sapp was voted into the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame in February, giving Clemmons more incentive to live up to his long-term nickname. "To be named after someone like (Warren Sapp) by my high school coach, who I'm really close to, and bringing it with me to Iowa," said Clemmons, a native of Lansing, Mich. "It's aspiring to be named after someone like that." Clemmons played football until his junior year of high school, then he opted to focus solely on basketball. Clemmons doesn't regret choosing basketball. His passion for the game stretches to his relationship with his father, who always wanted to see his son play. "He was always in my ear motivating me," said Clemmons. "He was my biggest critic, too. He always told me what I could've or should've done better. He told me the things that I didn't want to hear versus the things everyone else told me I wanted to hear." Clemmons was inserted into Iowa's lineup as starting point guard in the eighth game of the season, moving fellow freshman Mike Gesell to the two-guard spot. Clemmons was moved back to the bench after 13 starts. "I wasn't as hungry for (the starting position) once I got it, and I wasn't as aggressive as I was before," said Clemmons. "All I can do is keep fighting and keep bringing it." Clemmons played his best game in an 80-71 victory over Iowa State on Dec. 7 with a career- high 14 points. He matched a personal-best with eight assists in the Dec. 4 outing against South Dakota. Clemmons played in all 36 games his rookie campaign, topping 100 assists. "Being a Hawkeye is the best choice I've made," said Clemmons. "I remember the Iowa State game where there were times when I couldn't hear myself. Being around that many people cheering for you and to come out with a victory is amazing." "Football is still in my heart," Clemmons said. "I think that can kind of explain my game in basketball. I'm a good defender, am quick and aggressive, and am pretty strong for a point guard." 9

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