It was a historic season for the Iowa women’s basketball team in many ways.
A Big Ten Tournament championship. The first Elite Eight appearance since 1993.
And, of course, the accolades of senior Megan Gustafson.
“I’m just so thankful and blessed to be able to be a part of this program and this university,” Gustafson said after the Hawks loss to Baylor.
The layers in the legacy of a legend are seemingly endless, beginning with her impact of younger generations.
“All I’ve ever want to do was make a positive impact on other people…and for some reason, it was with the Mikan,” said Gustafson about her practice drill that went viral during the NCAA Tournament. “But I was able to inspire other people and children and I’m just excited to continue my journey, wherever that leads me.”
Legends also impact their teammates.
“Megan’s the GOAT,” said junior guard Kathleen Doyle. “There’s nothing else you can say. I mean, she’s probably the best Hawkeye basketball player to ever come to the university and she’s an even better person and even better teammate. I’m gonna miss her a ton.”
Senior forward Hannah Stewart said it’s Gustafson’s humility that will stick with her forever.
“No one has ever taught me like that, just by the way she leads by example and the way she’s unapologetically herself,” Stewart said.
Legends also impact their coaches.
“She’s amazing. One of the best Hawkeyes ever and I’m just really, really glad I that I got to coach her,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “I mean it’s 100 percent effort all the time. It’s not easy to do that when you’re tired and you’ve had a rough day or something, to come out and give it your absolute best effort every single second you’re on the floor. I mean that’s just a great example for all the people around her.”
And, of course, you impact the record books by rewriting them. But to do it with humility and selflessness, that’s something unique to Megan Gustafson.
“I love basketball. I mean, I credit my teammates all the time and that genuine,” said Gustafson. “I just love them so much and…they’re just incredible. I wouldn’t be the player I am today with out them.”
And the University of Iowa is better off because of it.