Joe Wieskamp has traveled all over the country in his basketball career. In July, the 6’6” guard will join his Iowa Barnstormer 16-and-under teammates in Spartanburg, South Carolina, as they compete in the finals of the Adidas Uprising Gauntlet. His AAU team will round out their July with tournaments in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Las Vegas. Last week, Wieskamp was in Charlottesville, Virginia, participating in the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 camp.
The camp is an invitation-only event for athletes deemed the top 100 players in all of high school basketball. Wieskamp has verbally committed to play at the University of Iowa and will sign with the class of 2018. He was joined by fellow Hawkeye class of 2017 commit and Iowa Barnstormer Connor McCaffery.
“It was a great experience,” Wieskamp said on Monday. “I learned a lot. I couldn’t play the games because I am just coming back after having mononucleosis, but I got to work with all of the coaches and do drill work.” Wieskamp was invited to participate in the NIKE top 100 event earlier in June but had to withdraw due to his illness. Wieskamp is cleared to play moving forward, including an upcoming high school tournament which will be his first set of games with new MHS coach Gary Belger.
Wieskamp took a lot away from the NBPA camp, which took place on campus at the University of Virginia. “It was a great week. We were pretty much in the arena all day, starting at 7 a.m. with breakfast.” The camp took players through sports psychology workshops and off-the-court development as well as instruction from current and former NBA players. “I was on the Lakers. I went through all the drill work and learned the plays and everything,” Wieskamp said. During the games, Wieskamp worked on his game along with Terrance Lewis from Wisconsin. “That was one of the highlights for me. We were off on the fourth court that they weren’t using for games, and we got to work individually with Kevin Durant’s trainer.”
Wieskamp spent a lot of time with McCaffery talking to Luka Garza. Garza is a 6’10” center from Washington, D.C., who has visited Iowa. “Connor and I were talking to him a lot. We recruited him pretty hard. It would be nice if he came to Iowa, too.”
Off the court, they listened to workshops on financial literacy, personal conduct, and safety. One of the speakers was Reggie Shaw. Shaw was texting and driving in September of 2006 when his vehicle struck the vehicle of James Furfaro and Keith O’Dell, killing both men. “I will never text and drive again after hearing him speak. All of the speakers were really good and I learned a lot,” said Wieskamp.
Wieskamp roomed with Ethan Thompson from Los Angeles, California. When asked what players from larger metropolitan areas think when he says he is from Muscatine, he said, “They think all of us from Iowa are farm kids, and that I’m just a white kid that can shoot.” Wieskamp hopes he is invited next year to the event. “Watching the games just made me want to compete against these guys some more. I want to show them I am not just a shooter. I just wanted to get in the game and dunk on somebody.”