The Ames High reunion, featuring Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, will have to wait

SHARE The Ames High reunion, featuring Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, will have to wait

Chicago almost got a full taste of Ames, Iowa, basketball Thursday.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle admitted before the game Friday against the Bulls that he tried to set up an Ames High School reunion, bringing together the four players who were standouts at Ames and went on to play in the NBA.

Two — Harrison Barnes and former Bulls forward Doug McDermott — are on the Mavericks’ roster, and Fred Hoiberg is the Bulls’ coach. That left only Dick Gibbs, who spent five seasons in the NBA, last playing in 1976.

‘‘I was going to try to help make that happen, yes,’’ Carlisle said. ‘‘That would’ve been really cool. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to be for now. There’s always next year.’’

Carlisle’s plan was to bring Gibbs into town, so the four Ames graduates could go to dinner Thursday.

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‘‘The gym at Ames High School, which I’ve been to the last couple of years for Harrison’s camp, they have pictures of those four guys in the order that they came,’’ Carlisle said. ‘‘So it’s Dick Gibbs in black-and-white, then Freddy is in color, then it’s Harrison and then it’s Doug.

‘‘It’s a special place. I thought it would’ve been great to get those four guys together for kind of a reunion picture. It would’ve been really special. But I just couldn’t find them, unfortunately.’’

The connection among McDermott, Hoiberg and Barnes doesn’t end there, either. Barnes and McDermott were on the last Ames team to win an Iowa state title (2010). The McDermott-Barnes team actually won back-to-back titles (2009-10), going a combined 53-0 in those seasons and winning every game by double figures.

‘‘The funny part about it is Harrison wore Fred’s jersey number,’’ McDermott said. ‘‘They never retired Fred’s [No. 40], so Harrison took it over, and now they’ll probably retire it for him, not Fred. Make sure you tell Fred that.’’

Hoiberg got the last laugh, though, pointing out he still holds the school record for scoring average, as well as the honor of being named ‘‘Mr. Football’’ and ‘‘Mr. Basketball’’ in Iowa in the same school year.

Speaking of McDermott

McDermott has been traded three times in the last year, but he said he doesn’t think of himself as a journeyman.

‘‘I don’t,’’ McDermott said. ‘‘I’ve gone through a lot so far, and things maybe haven’t gone the way I’ve wanted them to, but the past is the past. That’s kind of the approach that I’m taking.

‘‘I don’t want to move around all the time; I think Dallas is a great spot. Like I said, I wish things would have worked out a little differently, but I can’t control that now. I’m here now, and I just have to focus on going forward.’’

McDermott was dealt from the Bulls to the Thunder at the trade deadline last season, from the Thunder to the Knicks in the Carmelo Anthony deal during the offseason, then from the Knicks to the Mavericks last month.

Follow me on Twitter @suntimes_hoops.


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