Iowa's Dom Uhl shoots a 3 at the buzzer during a Prime Time League basketball game in the North Liberty Community Center on Sunday, July 9, 2017. Uhl racked up 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Hawk Uhl focused on honing his game

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Iowa’s lone senior, Dom Uhl, has spent his summer improving his game and getting ready for this upcoming season as well as his return home to Germany.

Jordan Zuniga

jordan-zuniga@uiowa.edu

This summer, Iowa forward Dom Uhl has been trying to prove last season’s struggles are behind him in the Prime Time League.

Last season, Uhl saw his game regress.

He started the year full of confidence after a promising sophomore year, but after the first month, it was clear he had taken a step back.

During his sophomore year, the Hawkeyes had used Uhl as an offensive spark off the bench.

He was a reliable 3-point shooter, averaging 6 points a game while knocking down .450 percent of his shots from deep.

These numbers earned him a starting job to begin last season for the Hawkeyes; it was a role he couldn’t maintain for long.

Uhl finished last season averaging just 3.5 points per game on a dismal .351 percent from the floor and an even worse .238 percent from deep.

Iowa teammate Nicholas Baer is confident this upcoming season will be different.

“I think Dom [Uhl] will be fine,” Baer said. “He should have a good senior campaign. He’s got great versatility and defense, and whenever you have that, you’ll find your way in the lineup.”

Uhl put his skills on display Sunday as his team, the Marion Iron, faced off against L.L. Pelling.

In that game Uhl put up 23 points, getting several of those points on 3s. He also managed to grab 13 rebounds while dishing out two assists.

If Uhl were to receive an award for his Sunday performance it would be a sharpshooter award.

The 6-9 forward knocked down .500 percent of his shots, most of which were jump shots.

Big scoring and rebounding numbers have been the norm for Uhl so far this summer; he averages 20.8 points per game and 8.3 rebounds.

“Dom’s been working extremely hard this summer,” Iowa teammate Tyler Cook said. “Every time I go to the gym, he’s there working on his game and creating better shots for himself. He’s another scoring threat and defensive weapon our team can use.”

Prime Time is a perfect warm-up for Uhl and his teammates as they prepare for their team trip to Germany, Aug. 6-17.

This trip is a bit more emotional for Uhl than it might be for the rest of his teammates; his hometown is Frankfurt, Germany.

It’s been five years since the last time Uhl played in Germany, and it will be the first time his mother will get to watch her son play basketball in years.

“I’m pretty excited,” Uhl said. “She’ll get to watch me play for the first time since I left. She’ll also get to meet my friends and watch them play for the first time.”

Uhl hopes he can put on a show for his mother in Germany as well as hopefully prove that this year he is worthy of a starting position.

Another interesting part of Sunday’s Prime Time action included some friendly competition between Uhl’s teammate Nicholas Baer and his younger brother Michael.

“It was a lot of fun,” Baer said. “I haven’t had a chance to play against him  much competitively. So, I get a chance here in the Prime Time League is a lot of fun.”

Michael might not get a chance to play with his older brother in college, but for the crowd that gathered into Roberts Gym at the North Liberty Community Center, it definitely added an exciting aspect to a meaningless summer game.

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