By Terrence Tomlin & Eugene McIntosh
Sports By #TheBIGS
After receiving over a dozen offers from colleges hoping to land Simeon’s Talen Horton-Tucker, his list was down to a final 3: Xavier, Illinois and Iowa St., and it was finally Decision Day. With all eyes on him, Talen sat center stage at Simeon Career Academy joined by his mother and coach Robert Smith and announced, “next year I will be attending…Iowa State University.”
Making it official that he would go from being a Wolverine to a Cyclone, The Bigs’ very own Terrence Tomlin and Eugene McIntosh caught up with the Simeon star to discuss what made Iowa St. stand out and his plans for his senior season on the hardwood at Simeon.
The Bigs: Why Iowa State over Illinois and Xavier?
Talen: I picked them because I felt like I was wanted the most there. They’ve been talking to me the longest. They offered me back in June and have been in touch with me since my sophomore year so I felt the time was right to get it over with.
The Bigs: You and your mother shared the stage as you announced your decision to commit to Iowa State. Can you describe the emotions you two felt in that moment?
Talen: Just being able to do this and be in this position. There are not many African-American kids in Chicago who have this opportunity to do this like this. So for me, I’m happy to be able to put on for my family and represent.
The Bigs: It’s always an honor when you get to use basketball, a sport you’ve played your entire life, to get a free education. It’s a good, positive story to combat the negativity that you hear coming from this city. You also get to continue on the path of your dream of being in the NBA. With your college decision being out of the way, how have you expanded your game to let people know you are the clear-cut best player in the state of Illinois?
Talen: Basically, it’s a great feeling but I try not to focus on comparing my game to anyone else’s. That start’s some unnecessary drama that I don’t like. I want to just focus on basketball. With that said, I do want to show everybody what I can do and that I have improved from last year. I was playing with a couple other great players last year like Kezo (Brown) and Evan (Gilyard). This year I’m more of the leader and I am looking forward to showing people what I can do.
The Bigs: What are your thoughts on joining Zion Griffin of Hinsdale South and George Conditt of Corliss, two other local hoopers headed to Iowa St.?
Talen: My phone is probably going crazy right now with texts from those guys, but I think it’s great. Knowing George and Zion the way I do is great. Just being able to be around those guys is just a great feeling and I am looking forward to playing with them.
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