May 2013

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May Energizes UI Athletics T By Darren Miller he energy created by University of Iowa fans inside Kinnick Stadium and CarverHawkeye Arena is a major reason Eric May became a Hawkeye. Energy is what May provided for 133 men's basketball games from 2009-13. Energy is what May felt when he exited Mediacom Court for a final time as a player following a 75-63 win against Stony Brook in the National Invitation Tournament 22. "Growing up, what really stuck out was the energy of this university," said May, addressing the UI athletics department all-staff meeting April 17. "I loved that. The crowds — seeing that on football Saturdays, coming to Carver when it was packed and rocking — that is exciting, and that was a big push for me to come here." May grew up in Dubuque, Iowa, 90 minutes northeast of Iowa City. Two of May's sisters attended the University of Iowa and two sisters attended the University of Northern Iowa. "The Iowa sisters won, they had the pull," he joked. In retrospect, the real winners were fans of Hawkeye men's basketball. May scored 859 career points (6.5 points per game) with 453 rebounds (3.4). During his 38-game senior season, May posted personal career-bests in field goal percentage (45.2), 3-point field goal percentage (39.5), free throw percentage (73.7), and assists (68). He committed just 23 turnovers. "From day one, I wanted to be part of a turnaround," May said. "After the first year it was disappointing, but a great thing happened. We got this great coaching staff in, and things changed. They made sure we got to work. I learned a lot from these guys, and one thing is that you have to get to work, things just don't happen. You have to make it happen, and these guys brought it every day." With May in the lineup, the Hawkeyes won 10 times in 2009-10 and 11 times in 2010-11. Last season Iowa finished 18-17 and advanced to the second round of the NIT. As a senior, May led the Hawkeyes to a record of 25-13, winning 11 of their final 15 games and finishing runner-up in the NIT. "It was exciting to be a part of that new energy that was within the team," May said. "We still had to get things done on the court, which took a little bit, but we got there. To have a season like this, to have the crowd, and the energy, the support is unbelievable. I was here at its lowest point, and to be part of this turnaround and to see it go from where it was to where it is today…I'm grateful for that." May will graduate with a degree in accounting, but he said he is in no rush to "sit behind a desk yet." With the help of the Hawkeye coaching staff, he is exploring options to continue his basketball career overseas. "Luckily the coaching staff is experienced, so I have a good asset there. These guys are here to help me," May said. "They are guiding me along the way because it's all new to me. I'm lucky for that." May also appreciates the guidance and support he has received from UI alumni. He said Luke Recker, who played for the Hawkeye men's basketball team from 2000-02, reached out to lend a hand any way he could. "To be part of the Iowa family and what that means is huge," May said. "I'm thankful for that. I had a great four years, so thanks." 59

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