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Familar surroundings

The last time I spoke with Rock Island native Sharm Scheuerman I was talking to him from a place he remembered well. It was before Iowa's basketball game at Northwestern last season and I arrived early to phone Scheuerman to talk with him for a piece I was working on about Galva native Rich Falk, who Scheuerman attempted to recruit to play basketball at Iowa. He wasn't successful in his attempt, but Scheuerman maintained a life-long friendship with Falk. I mentioned to him I was sitting in the arena in Evanston and that opened a floodgate of memories for Scheuerman. He recalled playing in the Final Four there when was then known as McGaw Hall was nearly new and Bucky O'Connor's Fabulous Five was making its second straight apperance in the Final Four. Scheuerman talked a bit the Hawkeyes' 83-76 semifinal win over Temple and the challenge that awaited the winner in the final, a Bill Russell-led San Francisco team. The Hawkeyes -- with seniors Carl Cain, Bill Schoof, Bill Logan, Bill Seaberg and Scheuerman -- in the lineup, held their own for a half but eventually fell 83-71 in Iowa's only appearance ever in the NCAA title game. Scheuerman recalled Russell as being one of the most gifted players he ever stepped on the same court with. He said that Russell and his teammates were so good that Iowa probably could have played them a dozen times and the outcome would have remained unchanged. Scheuerman, then a little over two months after asking doctors to end chemotherapy treatments that he had undergone to deal with cancer, seemed to enjoy the small talk and remembered coaching the Hawkeyes against Northwestern there. We talked a bit about last season's Iowa team. Scheuerman said he tried to attend gatherings in the Denver area where Hawkeyes would meet to watch games on television. A point guard himself, Scheuerman said he liked what he had seen from Cully Payne during his freshman season and said he believed he had the potential to become one of the best in the league over time. Scheuerman said he could relate to the pressures that former coach Todd Lickliter had to be feeling at the time, saying that the Big Ten was a little too experienced for a generally inexperienced Hawkeye team to handle at the time. He said he believed the experience would benefit them over time. We talked a bit about his memories of Falk, who was being honored that night, and Scheuerman compared Falk's shooting abilities to those of Purdue legend Rick Mount. Scheuerman talked a bit about the camps he helped set up for youths and how he appreciated the opportunty to help, especially in the inner cities. For Scheuerman, it was a labor of love that was created by the memories he had of playing on some of the most memorable Hawkeye teams of all time.

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