Boise State, Iowa State coaches develop a bond

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comDecember 23, 2013 

Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg was a standout shooter during a decade-long career in the NBA.

EUGENE TANNER — The Associated Press

HONOLULU — Boise State and Iowa State are two of the favorites at the Diamond Head Classic, and should they meet Wednesday in the championship, it will be the first matchup of two friends’ teams.

Coaches Leon Rice and Fred Hoiberg are in their fourth seasons with the Broncos and Cyclones, respectively, and have struck up a friendship in recent years. The two first got to know one in other in Hawaii, in fact, during the summer of 2012 on a Nike coaches’ trip.

“He’s just a wonderful person. He’s a heck of a basketball coach as well,’’ Hoiberg said. “He’s got those guys doing some special things.’’

The two have texted one another this season, and got the chance to speak for a while face-to-face Saturday at the Diamond Head welcome banquet.

Rice jokes that the 41-year-old Hoiberg seemingly has it made easy and could develop an ego as a former Cyclone great, NBA player and Ames, Iowa, native.

“They call him ‘The Mayor’ for crying out loud,’’ Rice said. “He’s the guy who will go out golfing and get a double eagle. Then you find out he’s a actually a great guy, which is pretty amazing.’’

Dave Southorn: 377-6420

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