March Madness: Iowa features Chicago-area athletes; team takes on UConn in women's Final Four game

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Friday, April 5, 2024
Iowa women's basketball team features Chicago-area athletes
As March Madness continues, Iowa features three Chicago-area athletes alongside Caitlin Clark, taking on UConn Friday in the NCAA women's Final Four.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It is the Final Four showdown this weekend for women's basketball.

Top-seeded South Carolina takes on North Carolina State at 6 p.m. Friday. Then there will be a clash between Iowa, with sharp-shooter Caitlin Clark, and UConn, with their star Page Bueckers.

Iowa features three Chicago-area athletes on their roster, from Sycamore, Chicago and Joliet. Two of them play big minutes as starters.

While Clark draws most of the national attention, all eyes in Sycamore tonight will be on a local star.

Kylie Feuerbach plays for the Hawkeyes and went to Sycamore High School.

"It's cool for her to be in the situation where she knows she's got her hometown as her loudest fans," Sycamore coach Adam Wickness said.

Her former coach predicts an Iowa win Friday night to send them to the National Championship game on Sunday.

Feuerbach has kept close ties with her school, hosting a basketball camp this summer.

"Being able to watch the game, and Kylie comes on. We were watching and everyone was screaming," Sycamore senior student Megan Brannon said. "It was really exciting."

Feuerbach graduated in 2020. She was not only a star athlete, but also class president and homecoming queen.

"Just a great leader for the school," Sycamore athletic director Chauncey Carrick said. "We enjoyed having her around."

READ MORE | Caitlin Clark and Iowa advance to women's Final Four after beating 2023 champion LSU

Iowa's roster features another Chicago-area product as well, starting guard Sydney Afolter.

She was a four-year starter at Marist High School and was team captain for three years.

Marist is on spring break this week, but the community has rallied around Afolter. She exchanges text messages with her former coach, who will be glued to the television Friday.

"To say I'm proud is an understatement," former Marist coach Mary Pat Connolly said. "I'm thrilled. Full of joy for her , because she's worked so hard for this."

Also hailing the Chicago area is Iowa freshman Kennise Johnson. She is from Joliet and was the number three ranked guard in the state of Illinois as a high school prospect.

Marist high school's mascot is the Red Hawks. Sycamore's is the Spartans. But Friday night, everyone will be a Hawkeye.