Though Fred Hoiberg was beloved by his players at Iowa State and it was certainly sad to see him depart for the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, one in particular doesn’t hold any hard feelings about his leaving.
That player is the team’s star forward Georges Niang, who spoke to Rob Dauster of NBC Sports’ College Basketball Talk and had nothing but positive things to say about his former coach.
“The fact that he gets to live out his dream and have his dream job with the Chicago Bulls, I couldn’t be more happy for him,” Niang said at the Nike Basketball Academy last week.
“How Coach Hoiberg treated us as men, and the respect that he showed all of us, you really couldn’t hold a grudge.”
Hoiberg went 115-56 (49-39 Big 12) in five seasons at Iowa State and won two Big 12 titles, getting as far as the Sweet Sixteen in four trips to the NCAA Tournament. Given how he played 10 NBA seasons and spent four of them with the Bulls, one can see just why he would want to leave Iowa State for Chicago.
Moreover, if the NBA tries to call one away from the college ranks, that’s a pretty hard call to ignore. It appears that Niang understands that, so why would he hold it against Hoiberg?
Iowa State has since hired former Murray State Racers coach Steve Prohm as Hoiberg’s successor.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports