Molly Tideback was the 1988 Miss Iowa Basketball as a senior at Columbus High in Waterloo and one of the most highly recruited players in the country. That is why fans across the state all but went into mourning when she decided to attend UCLA instead of Iowa. The home folks had tried too hard.
"There was the glamour of Los Angeles, but a lot of it was just wanting to get away from everything," says Tideback. "My mother and my coaches wanted me to go to Iowa, just about the entire state wanted me to go to Iowa. I suppose I wanted to get out from under that."
But Tideback, a 6'3" center, didn't know what she was getting herself into when she headed west. She played well enough to be named 1988-89 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, but she averaged only 12.8 points a game, peanuts for someone with her skills. Injuries were part of the reason for her lack of production—she had operations on both knees and on her left ankle after arriving at UCLA. But above all else, Tideback missed the very thing that had driven her from home—the hoop hysteria.
That was why she transferred back to Iowa before second semester last season even though Hawkeye coach C. Vivian Stringer, after signing six recruits, was holding her final scholarship for a guard. Tideback, the walk-on, will be eligible to play in January. "Maybe you have to go away to appreciate what you have at home," she says. "It is a little weird to be a walk-on, though."
It will no doubt feel even weirder when Tideback sits on the bench for the Hawkeyes' first home game on Nov. 24. Their opponent? UCLA.
DOES BO KNOW ADAM?
Adam Knows Volleyball? Adam (Prime Time) Keefe? Doesn't quite work, does it? Stanford center Adam Keefe will probably never make commercials or have a flashy nickname like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, but he does have a nice athletic double life of his own.
Keefe, a 6'9" junior and one of the best big men in the Pac-10, is a legitimate NBA prospect. And if he doesn't make it, he may just become one of the country's best volleyball players.
When pressed, Keefe, a middle blocker, hints that he prefers volleyball to basketball. "I feel like basketball should be my preference, but volleyball is so much fun," he says. "I have a greater feeling of self-improvement than I do in basketball. But it's not like basketball's a chore or anything."