From walking on as a freshman to being one of the best sixth men in the Big Ten, it’s been quite a ride at Iowa for Bettendorf’s Nicholas Baer.
His four siblings have been there every step of the way — and there’s so much more than basketball to their close relationship.
“Just having that support. It means the world to me,” Nicholas Baer said. “You know, I’m sure this will be hard on them too obviously it’s coming to an end.”
Baer’s career with the Hawkeyes came to a close on Sunday.
“Our heart rates are all consistently pretty high, I would say,” older sister Elizabeth Baer said.
And while the stress for his three sisters might be relieved, the memories from both on and off the court will stick with them for a life time.
“His first time entering in Carver-Hawkeye Arena,” youngest sister Caroline Baer said. “That first exhibition game, seeming him. He didn’t quite fill out his jersey as well as he does now… so that was a special moment.”
“Sometimes we’d have to skip out on class a little bit to get to some games,” Elizabeth said. “It’s been pretty special and unexpected in a lot of ways, but in the best ways, obviously. A lot of time spent in the backyard, all of us playing together and now to be on this big of a stage is really exciting. A dream come true for all of us, actually.”
The dream became even better when younger brother Michael joined the program, first as a manager last year before walking-on with the team this season.
He says the one year sharing the black-and-gold is only a small part of what he’s going to miss.
“We had a great season together,” Michael said. “We obviously live together and that’s the thing that’s almost more sad about it. He’s gonna be moving away in a couple months and going somewhere else and getting his own life. I’m just happy that it happened. We had a great run together.”
“Honestly I try not to think about it because it will make me emotional, but I don’t know, I think either way it will be meaningful and special just because at this point, wrapping up, whatever happens,” younger sister Katherine Baer said.
And now that his five years with the Hawks are done, Nicholas says it’s the support away from the court that he will cherish the most.
“I’ll always appreciate everything they’ve done for me. They try to make it to every game and more importantly, it’s the things that aren’t about basketball that I appreciate about them. I love ’em to death and they’ll be in my life forever.”