In basketball, the score is what usually separates winners and losers. But in this case, one young man decided that not scoring was the right play.
University of Iowa sophomore Jordan Bohannon entered Sunday’s game against the Northwestern Wildcats (otherwise known as “the team Julia Louis-Dreyfus roots for“). He had made 30 consecutive free throws and was coming up on the school record of 34.
But when Bohannon stepped to the line late in the fourth quarter with a chance to drain his 35th free throw in a row, something odd happened — the kid who couldn’t miss clanged one off the front of the rim:
Here is the free throw Jordan Bohannon missed on purpose that would have broken Chris Street's record. And then a minute later, back to the line, you see his homage to Street. He made them both. pic.twitter.com/pv7Q0HOQdm
— Jon Miller (@hawkeyenation) February 26, 2018
As it turns out, it was intentional. The man with whom Bohannon is now tied, Chris Street, was a Hawkeyes legend who played for the team in the early 1990s. But just days after draining that 34th free throw, Street was killed in a car crash at the age of 20. His jersey number has been retired, and for years his mark stood unbroken. Bohannon wanted it to stay that way.
"That's not my record to have. That record deserves to stay in his name."
— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) February 26, 2018
“It’s not my record to have,” Bohannon told reporters. “That record deserves to stay in his name.”
Street’s parents, Patty and Mike Street, were on hand for the game, which Iowa won 77-70, and embraced Bohannon afterwards.
Jordan Bohannon points to the sky after keeping Chris Street's consecutive free throw record intact. Shared a moment with Patty and Mike Street after the game. pic.twitter.com/r1Is1X73Vj
— David Scrivner (@davidscrivner) February 26, 2018
“What a good kid. He’s so kind,” Patty Street told HawkCentral. “That was so special that he thought of Christopher and that record.”
While some wondered if it is what Street would have really wanted, Bohannon’s gesture touched many people, who lauded him for sacrificing his spot in the record books. If nothing else, the move helped to educate a lot of the country who may not have known Street’s story before Sunday. Sportscaster Scott Van Pelt saluted Bohannon over Twitter:
Salute to @JordanBo_3 If we had a show tonight, what you did would have lead. It was “The Best Thing I Saw Today.”
— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) February 26, 2018
As sports reporter Pat Forde pointed out, it was a feel-good story for a sport desperately in need of one right now:
Wow, Jordan Bohannon. Wow. Been a bad week for college basketball, but this is a touching CBB story. https://t.co/bTKLSYWov9
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) February 26, 2018
Chris Street’s father said he hopes that next time Bohannon will break the record. “We certainly in the future want him to get another shot at it,” he told HawkCentral. “I told him, ‘Next time, you need to go right on by.’ “
Here’s hoping he gets that chance.
The Iowa basketball team isn’t alone in feel-good news this year though. The football team also made headlines with what is undoubtedly one of the best new traditions in all of sports.