Pro basketball in Cedar Valley

KEVIN DEITRICK, Sports Columnist

Brace yourselves, Cedar Valley, the CourtKings are coming. Waterloo will now be a three-sport city, courtesy of Gary Rima.

Rima, the play-by-play guy for UNI men’s basketball and football, will take over the ownership and management of the team. The Cedar Valley CourtKings will be part of a new 11-team Midwest basketball league.

“I think basketball is really at a high right now in the state of Iowa,” Rima told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. He’s not wrong.

Last year, the three major Iowa college basketball teams, Iowa, Iowa State and UNI, had a combined record of 78-25. That success has continued on into this year.

Granted, UNI has had a tough year so far, but they are 2-0 against top 5 teams, No. 1 North Carolina and No. 5 Iowa State.

The CourtKings could be a nce addition to the basketball fever in Iowa.

In the first game of the year, the CourtKings travel to Sioux City to take on the Hornets on April 23.

I decided I want to make a fantasy lineup of sorts made up of some of the best former UNI, Iowa and Iowa State basketball players.

For starting point guard, DeAndre Kane. In 2013-14, Kane was second on the ISU basketball team in points (17.1) he led the team in assists (5.9) and was third on the team in rebounding (6.8).

Their starting shooting guard will be Devyn Marble. I know he’s playing on the Orlando Magic, but I think it would be in everyone’s best interest if he came on over and played for the CourtKings where he can dominate and go back to the NBA better than ever. In his final year at Iowa, Marble averaged 17 points per game.

With this next pick, Rima would have to make a call overseas because the CourtKings’ starting small forward should be none other than Melvin Ejim.

Melvin’s senior year at Iowa State was surely special. In a year in which he won Big 12 Player of the Year, he also led the team in scoring and rebounds with 17.8 points and 8.4 rebounds.

Now, you know I have to have Aaron White in here. I will just throw him in at power forward, but in reality, it’s not going to matter because this team would dominate. White was absolutely amazing for the Hawkeyes a year ago, averaging 16 points per game and seven rebounds.

Now, I think we all know who is going to be our starting Center. Who else than UNI’s own Seth Tuttle? Last year, Tuttle led the Panthers to a 31-4 record and to the NCAA Tournament. They also cracked the top 10 last year. Tuttle was very efficient, shooting 60 percent from the field and averaging 15 points per game and 6.9 rebounds.

It is really good to see this area have another team to support. If you look at the Blackhawks and the Bucks, you will see that we love our sports. Remember, the first game is in Sioux City on April 23. If you do not want to drive there, the home opener is on May 15 at the Cedar Valley SportsPlex.