Where are they now: Greg Stokes
From 1982 through 1985, Greg Stokes play on the floor at Carver Hawkeye was a real joy to watch for all Iowa fans. In 1985, he broke the Iowa all-time scoring record, besting Iowa great Ronnie Lester, by scoring 1768 career points. That very night, his jersey, #41, was retired, never to be worn again. We caught up with Greg, who now lives in Marion, Iowa, at Kirkwood Community College, where he is a Program Director and assistant men's basketball coach under Head Coach Doug Wagemester.
Greg's career scoring mark was eclipsed by the current record holder, Roy Marble, during the 1986-89 basketball seasons. Greg still holds the mark for individual Field Goal percentage in a game when he went 11-11 from the floor in a game against Georgia Tech in 1984. Some of Greg's other notable career marks: 2nd all time in FG's made, 2nd all time in blocked shots and 6th all time rebounder. Greg lead the Hawkeye's in rebounding in 1984 and 1985 as well as scoring in 1983, 1984 and 1985. He averaged 19.9 points per game his senior season, playing on a very talented team that went to the NCAA tourney. He was a member of the gold medal winning Pan American team in 1983, playing with Michael Jordan, Chris Mullins and Sam Perkins, to name a few.
Greg was very easy to speak with. Here is some of what this former Hawkeye had to say:
"I actually played for two different coaches in my time at Iowa, Lute Olson and George Raveling", relayed Greg. "Lute was well respected and a little more distant when it came to the players, George was more of a player's coach", he added.
"Each of them had a different approach to coaching and found different ways to motivate their teams," said Stokes. "I spent a lot of hours trying to get Coach Olson to tell me that I was doing a good job, working hard and doing the right things. Praise was tough to come by from Coach Olson, so it made me work harder I believe."
"Coach Raveling motivated his players with verbal incentive and was a little more vocal about his feelings," said Greg, "You always pretty much knew where you stood with Coach Raveling."
"1984 was a transitional year for us as I remember it. We were learning Coach Raveling's system and our record may have reflected as much," said Stokes. "But we bounced back the next year and made the NCAA tournament."
How does Greg feel about the current staff and players?
"I admire Coach Alford, having played against him, and I respect him as a coach," said Stokes. "As far as the players, well, if I had any advice, it would be to carry yourself and represent yourself in a very worth-while way and realize that no matter where you are, where you go or what you are doing, everybody is watching and looking at you to be a role model."
Greg enjoys being a parent to his two kids and, at some point, still has aspirations of coaching at another level as an assistant or head coach.
Thanks for the memories Greg!
Name: Greg Stokes
Family: Son Darius 11 Daughter Kiah (KEY-AH) 10
Currently Resides: Marion
Current Occupation: Program Director and basketball coach -Kirkwood Community College
Years played at Iowa: 82-85
Position: Forward /Center
Career Stats(Approx): Lots, mentioned some
Team and/or Post Season Honors: All Big Ten , Team MVP
List any professional football experience and years (NFL,CFL,NFL Europe,NBA etc):
2 years NBA (Philadelphia, Sacremento) Several years Italian league (4), Spanish league(1) and Australian league (1)
Most memorable moment: Breaking the All time career scoring record and having my jersey retired at that game.
Most Memorable quote: Good ,Better , Best : Never let it rest, until your GOOD is BETTER and your BETTER is BEST. Marv McCollum (my high school coach) Not sure where he got it but it stayed with me for some reason.
What did you take with you from your time at Iowa that has helped you off the field:
I took the notion that people will respect you if you give 100 % . As long as you can look yourself in the mirror and know you gave 100% it doesn’t matter what anyone says about you. Believe in yourself.
Impressions of the current team and staff: Staff: Hardworking , perhaps need to have more discipline and less tolerance when guys screw up off the floor. Team: I think they need to realize that they are fortunate to have this tremendous opportunity. Don’t squander an opportunity to be a part of an amazing legacy. Keep working hard and never, ever become satisfied or complacent.
Do you stay in touch with former players? If so, whom:
Michael Payne, Lohaus, Carfino every now and then. Mike “tree” Henry and Todd Berkenpas.
Do you keep up with how the Hawkeye’s are doing? Sure but with so many obligations I can’t follow them like I would like.
How often do you get back to Iowa City?: I am on the Varsity Club board so several times a year. Games , golf outings , special events, camps etc.