Summer success: Patrick McCaffery ’19

After an intense summer of basketball camps and tournaments that culminated with winning national basketball accolades, Patrick McCaffery ’19 reflects on his experiences and hope for the future.

September 12, 2017

For most high school students, summer is a time to relax. Patrick McCaffery ’19 saw it as a time to improve his basketball skills. Beginning in mid-to-late June, McCaffery started off his summer with the invite-only National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp. He later traveled around the country for prestigious camps and tournaments at whose performance would make him known as one of the top high school players in the nation.

McCaffery’s Iowa Barnstormers Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team won a national tournament at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in Spartanburg, SC. A few weeks later, they finished as the runner up at the Adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas, NV.

“We were in Spartanburg. We had just won our semifinal game and we weren’t supposed to make it this far; we ended up winning the whole thing,” he said.

Toward the end of the summer, PrepHoops ranked McCaffery as No. 31 in the nation, along with giving him a spot on their 16U All-American team.

“It kind of came out of nowhere. I didn’t know that [the All-American team] was even a thing and then it just kind of popped up on my Twitter. That’s pretty cool to be listed among all those names and all those guys,” he said. “It was pretty humbling, honestly, because I know I can get a lot better than where I’m at now. I have a lot to work on and get better at, so it just kind of keeps me motivated to get more [awards] by the time I’m done with my high school career.”

It was pretty humbling, honestly, because I know I can get a lot better than where I’m at now. I have a lot to work on and get better at, so it just kind of keeps me motivated …”

— Patrick McCaffery '19

Not only did McCaffery see the benefits of playing with and against some of the top players in the nation, but also learning from some of the most successful coaches.

“There were a lot of ex-college coaches [and] professional skills trainers, like a lot of guys that train NBA [players]. Then there were a lot of coaches like Tom Crean who [was] the coach at Indiana and Mark Gottfried who [was] the coach at [North Carolina] State, so a lot of big time coaches,” he said. “You just try to absorb as much information as you can from those guys.”

Despite being ranked amongst the best, McCaffery hasn’t been getting many recruitment offers. While other basketball players of his caliber were receiving contact from multiple coaches, McCaffery has had little attention.

“The first day that college coaches could contact kids [in my grade], I was in Virginia with a bunch of my friends. All of their phones were blowing up and I didn’t really get anything, so it was kind of funny,” he said.

HawkCentral, a news website for Hawkeye sports, thinks this is because McCaffery’s dad, Fran McCaffery, is the men’s basketball head coach at the University of Iowa. Patrick’s brother, Connor McCaffery ’17, also recently started his freshman year at the University of Iowa, where he joined the men’s basketball team to play for his father, likely causing colleges to assume Patrick will do the same.

“I haven’t really gotten any [offers] yet [except] from my dad at the University of Iowa, so that’s probably where I’ll end up playing but I don’t know yet,” he said. “It’s just home. I’ll play in front of my mom every game so it’d just be cool to play there.”

McCaffery is bringing back his newly-acquired knowledge to West High, and is hoping to lead his team after a victory at the 2017 state championships.

“[I] definitely got a lot more confidence. If I can compete with the best of the best, then I can do pretty well here too,” he said.

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