July 7, 2005
Iowa basketball players Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner have been invited by USA Basketball to participate in the tryouts for the 2005 World University Games. The tryouts will take place July 28-August 4 in Colorado Springs, CO.
Players selected for the USA team will depart August 5 for Izmir, Turkey, site of the World University Games. The basketball competition, which will include eight games, will take place Aug. 11-22, with the team returning to the United States Aug. 23.
“This is a great honor for Greg and Jeff,” said Iowa Coach Steve Alford. “To have the chance to represent your country is a great honor. This is one of the biggest opportunities for amateur players, a great event. For six days they will be competing with the best of the best.
“Having two players from our program is exciting,” added Alford. “A very small percentage of college basketball players from around the nation have this type of opportunity and it sheds a positive light on our program.”
Brunner (6-7, 245) is a native of Charles City who will be a senior next season. He led the Hawkeyes in both scoring (14.7) and rebounding (8.3) in 2005, while shooting 51.2% from the field. His career totals include 1,035 points and 676 rebounds. He also is tied for ninth with 84 career blocked shots.
Brunner earned second team all-Big Ten recognition after ranking second in the league in rebounding for the second straight season. He scored in double figures in 28 games and had eight or more rebounds in 21 games while recording 11 double-doubles.
“This is a huge honor for both of us,” said Brunner. “We have the opportunity to represent the University of Iowa and the state of Iowa against the best players in the nation. Jeff and I both participated in the Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs a few years ago. Hopefully, being familiar with the surroundings can work to our benefit.”
Horner (6-3, 185) is from Mason City and also heading into his senior season. He averaged 14 points, 5.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game last season. He has scored 1,095 career points and is the only player in Iowa history to collect over 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists.
Horner has led the Hawkeyes in assists for three straight seasons. He was honorable mention all-Big Ten, was a member of the Maui Invitational all-tournament team and was twice named Big Ten Player of the Week during his junior campaign.
Both Horner and Brunner were members of the 2001 United States gold medal winning Olympic Festival team.
“It will be exciting to see how we stack up against some of the best players,” said Horner. “It’s an honor to be recognized as one of the top players. This type of competition can only help both Greg and I as we head into our senior year.”
The USA team will include 13 players from the 20 who have been invited to the trials. Iowa and Stanford are the only programs with more than one representative invited to the tryouts. And, Iowa is the only state with two former high school players on the list.