Iowa’s Nicholas Baer and brother Michael watch the action during a Prime Time game in the North Liberty Community Center on July 9. After graduating from Bettendorf, Nicholas rolled the dice in his freshman walk-on season. Michael opts to join his brother on the team as a manager, supporting the team from the sidelines rather than on the hardwood. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Brothers bear down on the hardwood

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This summer, there is some brotherly love combined with some friendly competition as brothers Nicholas and Michael Baer take the floor against each other during Prime Time action.

By Jordan Zuniga

jordan-zuniga@uiowa.edu

There aren’t many bonds tighter than a bond between brothers, and the same holds true for Hawkeye basketball player Nicholas Baer and younger brother Michael.

Many Hawkeye fans respect Nicholas Baer for his kindness and humility, and both were on display this summer. He was even spotted signing a T-shirt for an 8-year-old in the middle of one of his Prime Time games.

So for Iowa fans, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he is also a great older brother.

“[Nicholas is] a cool brother, he’s very loving and caring,” Michael Baer said. “We talk a lot, and he’s fun to be around. It’s not great that he’s been in Iowa City and I’ve been in Bettendorf these past three years; we were really close before then. I’m really excited to be going to school with him in Iowa City next year.”

While the Baer brothers will attend the University of Iowa together, they won’t be on the court at the same time.

Michael Baer has decided to become a manager for Iowa instead of following in the footsteps of his older brother.

RELATED: Baer revels in his role

This summer, the Baer brothers play in the Prime Time League on different teams, and on July 9, they went head to head.

In the game, Nicholas Baer dropped 25 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and flipped 2 assists. His younger brother turned in 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.

“It was a lot of fun,” Nicholas Baer said. “I haven’t really had a chance to play against him competitively. So, getting a chance in the Prime Time League is a lot of fun; he made a couple nice plays. It’s just a lot of fun to get a chance to play against him.”

As with most brothers, competition brings out a bit of trash talking, and the Baer brothers are no exception.

“Yeah, there was trash talking all the time,” the elder Baer said. “On the car ride here, during the game, and probably on the car ride back.”

Iowa’s Nicholas Baer takes the ball up court while being covered by his brother, and former Bettendorf player, Michael Baer during a Prime Time League basketball game in the North Liberty Community Center on Sunday, July 9, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

“He told me I was going to miss my free throws,” Michael Baer said. “I missed the first, but luckily, I was able to redeem myself on the second one. And when I was guarding, I told him I was going to knock down a couple shots. Unfortunately, he didn’t give me too much space.”

This may have been the first time the two brothers squared off against each other in an organized basketball league, but the two are no stranger to friendly competition on the basketball court.

Every Easter, the entire Baer family gets together for a game of knockout, which the two Hawkeyes dominate.

“It’s kind of a tradition; we host it at our [Michael and Nicholas’] house, we have 23 cousins, so it’s a big game, all the aunts and uncles love it, and grandma even enjoys it,” Michael Baer said.

This past Easter, the Baers played two knockout games, with Nicholas winning the first and Michael taking the rematch.

Although we won’t get to see the two play together for the Hawkeyes in Carver-Hawkeye, it was special getting to see the two go at it in Prime Time.

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