Iowa point guard intentionally misses free throw with slim lead to preserve fallen Hawkeye legend Chris Street's record
Intentionally missing a free throw when your team is holding on to a slim lead with just over two minutes to go wouldn’t normally seem like a good idea, but in Iowa point guard Jordan Bohannon’s mind, it was, without a doubt, the correct decision Sunday night.
Bohannon stepped up to the free-throw line with 2:15 remaining and Iowa leading Northwestern 73-65 in their regular season finale at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.
For Iowa, there is no one more consistent at the line than Bohannon, who came into the game having made 34 consecutive free throws to tie the school record.
Despite having the opportunity to not only help close out the win but also etch his name in the record books for most consecutive made free throws, Bohannon intentionally short-armed his shot, letting it clank off the front of the rim.
Iowa legend Chris Street, who played for the Hawkeyes in the early ’90s, made 34 consecutive free throws before he was killed in a car accident midway through the 1992-93 season. Then-Iowa coach Tom Davis called Street “all that is good about the Midwest and the state of Iowa,” according to the Des Moines Register. Street’s No. 40 jersey was retired by the school shortly after his death. No other number has been retired since.
“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.”
Shortly after the intentional miss, Bohannon tapped his chest and pointed up to the sky, paying homage to Street.
Street’s father, Mike, told the Des Moines Register he was encouraging Bohannon to break his son’s record because it was what his son would have wanted, but appreciates the touching tribute.
“Christopher would want him to do to the best he could do and stay after it. But that was Jordan’s decision, and if that’s what he wanted to do, then we appreciate it,” Mike said. “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.’ “
Iowa recently honored Street with a video tribute during halftime of their loss to Purdue on Jan. 20, 25 years after Street’s death.