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1/14/2013: State of the Big Ten, Volume 82 (premium)

Posted on 14. Jan, 2013 by in Iowa Basketball, Iowa Football

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Every Monday, we will be running a weekly series titled “State of the Big Ten,” which will be made available to all members of HawkeyeDrive.com. This series of columns will focus on one major headline regarding the conference and go in-depth on the subject at hand.

By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

The evening of Jan. 19 will be nothing short of emotional in Iowa City when the Iowa Hawkeyes tangle with the Wisconsin Badgers. Not because these teams have a rivalry that has in recent years become heated, but because of the significance of that night.

Jan. 19 also happens to be the 20th anniversary of one of Iowa City’s saddest days and probably the saddest day in the history of the Iowa basketball program. It was on this date in 1993 that Hawkeye forward Chris Street was killed in an accident that took place off Highway following a team function at the Highlander Inn.

With the Hawkeyes playing at home that evening, Iowa has a halftime ceremony planned that includes a tribute video. Past winners of Iowa’s Chris Street Award will also receive recognition during this ceremony.

One thing head coach Fran McCaffery has talked about in the past is the way Iowa genuinely pays tribute to the late Street and his family. He mentions how it’s sad and reminds people of a heartbreaking tragedy, but at the same time, gives those who knew Street and loved him the opportunity to celebrate his life and what he stood for.

This is something not only Iowa, but any school that has ever dealt with similar tragedies should be commended for. Dealing with death isn’t a strong suit for anyone, let alone a group of 18-22 year olds who treat each other like family from the moment they arrive on campus moving forward. But as awful as Street’s death was and still is today, this is an opportunity Iowa has to embrace one of its own and to do it right.

Moments like this shouldn’t be forgotten, no matter how much they hurt. Street’s death was big enough that anyone with any connections to Iowa remembers exactly where they were when the news first broke. Plenty of those stories will be told this week, but they’ll probably be told along with stories about Street from those who knew him, stories about growing up with him or meeting him in class or hanging out with him one night downtown. These stories will be told by those who had their lives touched by Street in a manner that hearing his name makes them crack a smile, even if that smile is complementing sadness.

As Street’s name lives on in Iowa, the one thing Hawkeye fans will hopefully take away from Saturday night is it’s always good to remember those who have impacted their lives positively in some way, shape or form. Street has been dead for almost 20 years, yet his name is as symbolic with Iowa basketball now as it was in 1993 when he was killed.

That’s a legacy worth remembering. That’s what fans should remember about him as they enter Carver-Hawkeye Arena that night. The same thing can be said for any other school’s fans whenever they deal with a tragedy themselves. There’s no right way for dealing with tragedy, but there is a right way to remember those who lost their lives. It appears Iowa is going out remembering Street in the right way and that’s something that’ll be emotional to see Saturday night, but also good to see as well.

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