Homan reflects on basketball journey to IHSAA Hall of Fame
DES MOINES — Driving through busy New York City traffic on a Monday afternoon, Jared Homan experienced flashbacks while reminiscing about a standout high school basketball career.
A territorial manager for Boston Scientific, one of the world’s top medical device companies, the 6-foot-10 Homan mastered the art of the blocked shot as a dominant post at Remsen St. Mary’s. There, he recorded 249 blocks in three seasons, then later became Iowa State’s career leader with 235 blocks.
Homan, who also played 11 professional basketball seasons in Europe, was among five inductees into the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Basketball Hall of Fame. He received the honor last Friday during halftime of the Class 3A state championship game between Bondurant-Farrar and Cedar Rapids Xavier.
“You get flashback memories and at the same time, you’re thinking there’s no way it could have been that long ago,” said Homan, a 2001 Remsen St. Mary’s graduate who averaged 21.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 5.7 blocks as a junior, then 23.5 points, 14.0 rebounds and 6.5 blocks as a senior. “Sometimes, it seems like forever ago. Sometimes, it feels like yesterday. You get flashbacks to show how it all started, shooting hoops inside a barn or outside a machine shed or a garage. Then you remember all the AAU tournaments with the guys. It’s nice to have somebody who appreciates the work you put into high school and the careers I put in after.”
Homan learned the value of hard work growing up on a dairy farm where he arose early to help with milking chores. There were plenty of other jobs like walking soybean fields or baling hay. Still, he and older brother Jeremy found time to play HORSE or hoops with neighborhood farm kids, many of them older than himself. It taught him the value of physical play, which led to many of those point/rebound double-doubles he collected while playing for Coach Jeremy Stukenholtz, who was present for the ceremony.
Homan said being physical against offensive players was the blocking key of his prep and collegiate career.
“You don’t let them get too much separation or a good jump,” said Homan. “Timing also factors in. I could block shots with my left or right hand. A lot of people are right-hand dominant and try to block with their right. Think about it, most players are right-handed, so they shoot with their right hand, so you block it with your left. It lines things up better.”
A two-time Class 1A first-team Iowa Newspaper Association all-state selection, Homan played four seasons at Iowa State. A two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection, Homan made the Big 12 All-Improved team as a junior (2003-04), averaging 11.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. As a senior (2004-05), Homan averaged 13.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks while earning All-Big 12 honors. In a conference known for its rugged and physical play, he threw his body around with the best of them.
Homan wasn’t selected in the NBA Draft, but played professional basketball in Europe. The first of his stops was with Greece club Maroussi in 2005. His European career also included stints with teams in Turkey, Poland, Croatia, Germany, Russia and Israel. Two years after receiving a Chicago Bulls camp invitation (2007), Homan was on a Croatian championship squad.
He was asked if it was tough to block shots in Europe. “Not necessarily,” he answered. “You have to factor in athleticism. In the pros, you go to a whole other level of athleticism. It’s more difficult because people jump higher. You have to be able to read refs in the league and how aggressive you can be on defense.”
Following his pro career, Homan returned to the United States to begin his post-basketball career. A finance major at Iowa State, Homan has been with Boston Scientific for five years.
“It has been a good company to work for,” he said. “I get to sit in an operating room and work with some of the top neurosurgeons in New York. It has been a really cool experience working with some of the hospital systems out there and interact with people who help these chronic pain patients control their pain.”
Still, farm life has never left a man who returns three to four times a year (not including Christmas) to help on the farm during the spring and summer. Thanks to the internet, he watched the majority of the Hawks’ games during a recently-completed 23-3 season, including both state tournament games, a 57-47 first-round win over Gladbrook-Reinbeck and the heartbreaking 52-50 semifinal loss to North Linn.
Homan’s nephew, 6-4 sophomore Collin Homan, shot 62.1 percent while averaging 14.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks as the Hawks competed at state for the seventh straight year. Collin was similar to Jared in the fact that they both began their prep careers as sophomores.
“I’m anxious to see what happens to Collin his next two years,” said Homan. “Sizewise, he is comparable, maybe a little bit bigger than what I was at that age. He has a better jump shot. He plays pretty physical. He’s a good offensive rebounder. He shoots the three pretty well. That’s the nice thing about those games online, I can watch. It has been fun to watch those kids play. They play hard. They play together.”