Sept. 2, 2009
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch (2009-10 season)
by Patrick Sojka
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Former Hawkeye standout Greg Brunner now plays overseas in Europe. Brunner, Iowa’s all-time leading rebounder, was a two-time all-Big Ten selection and a three-time Academic all-Big Ten honoree. In addition to being Iowa’s all-time leading rebounder with 990 career rebounds, he ranks sixth in blocked shots (104), sixth in free throw attempts (566), ninth in field goals (553) and tenth in scoring (1,516).
The Charles City, IA, native enjoys the lifestyle in Europe.
“I really enjoy the atmosphere and the slower pace, it is very relaxed,” said Brunner. “I enjoy it over there, I really do. At first, it was very hard. Now I have grown to love it.”
While enjoying the life abroad, he definitely misses Iowa.
“I have yet to tailgate and just relax at a football game. I really miss my friends and family. You are away from everybody for so long, that is the thing that gets difficult. If I play 10 years over there, that is 10 years I do not get to spend with my family.”
Brunner enjoyed a successful year last year, playing most of the year with a team in Italy.
“I ended up playing in Italy. We made the playoffs as a No. 7 seed and beat the No. 2 seed in the playoffs in a five-game series. It was probably considered the biggest upset all over Europe.”
For his career at Iowa, Brunner averaged 11.9 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game. His numbers were close to those last year overseas.
“I had a good year. If you took my stats over 40 minutes I was right around 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds). In the playoffs, I averaged 19 minutes a game, averaging 11 points and five rebounds. I had a successful year.”
Brunner, who will play for Montegranaro this year, enjoys playing overseas, yet nothing will ever compare to his days as a Hawkeye.
“I really miss playing in front of the Iowa fans. Suiting up with the lights on, it is a great experience. The experience is one that a lot of people dream about, one that I definitely dreamed about when I was little. I can happily say that I experienced it, but it is hard to let go.”
Brunner, who lettered at Iowa from 2003-2006, still finds time to follow his Hawkeyes, even though he is thousands of miles away.
“I have Mediacom hooked up through my computer so I get to watch them. Many times they play when I am in bed so I record it and then watch them the next day.”
The former Chris Street Award winner is excited about the future of the program.
“I really like what Coach Lickliter is doing. He has a great staff and he has brought in the type of guys he needs for his system. Working out with them, I have seen dramatic improvement over the past two years with his players. I am excited for the future of the program.”