Anthony Hubbard never expected to have this type of a second chance, but he is getting one thanks to his abilities on the basketball court. After spending nearly four years in jail for an assault conviction while in high school, the 6-foot-5 wing player has heard from more than 50 college programs in the past few weeks and months and appears to be close to making a decision on the next step in his journey.
"This really feels like a second chance for me," Hubbard said Monday night. "I didn't take advantage of my first opportunity in life and really feel obligated to make the most of this chance that I am being given. This whole process has been a very humbling experience for me and it has been amazing to see what these schools have to offer."
The schools at the top of his list are Iowa, Nebraska, Penn State and Iona. He visited Iowa in March. He made a trip to Penn State and last weekend made his official visit to Iona. This coming weekend he will head to Lincoln to visit the Cornhuskers.
"I am taking a visit to Nebraska this weekend after a visit this past weekend to Iona, which was really pretty amazing," Hubbard, 25, said. "They took me to New York City and to Ground Zero and it was a really moving experience for me. That whole experience made me appreciate even more the opportunities that I have right now."
Following his visit to Iowa, which included watching the Hawkeyes upset nationally ranked Purdue, Hubbard said that the Hawkeye visit would be tough to beat. That still rings true heading into his last official visit.
"It has been tough to beat," he said of the Iowa visit. "The people at Iowa were unlike any of the people that I have met on my other visits. They were kind and down to earth people. It wasn't what I would have expected with people asking for my autograph and taking my picture."
While the Iowa visit took place more than a month ago, the Hawkeye coaches, led by Coach Fran McCaffery, have kept in close contact with Hubbard and appear to be making him a top priority.
"Iowa has told me over and over that they want me and that I would be a great fit for the program. I know they want me at Iowa," he said. "Coach McCaffery has been great. I call him and talk to him and he calls me when he is allowed. I have what I think is a special relationship with him."
After the visit this weekend, Hubbard says he plans on signing his letter of intent on April 23rd. The only question that remains is what school he will choose.
"I really wouldn't say I am leaning towards any specific school, but once I take the visit this weekend I will have a better idea about where I want to go."
Hubbard says that several factors will come into play when he makes his final call, but being comfortable and making a difference will play a significant role in his decision.
"I am going to look for the place that I feel the most comfortable. I think that athletically, I can compete at any of the schools. I am going to be living at the school for the next two years, so I really want to be comfortable," Hubbard said. "I also want to come into a place where I can make a difference in a program and have an impact on the team."