Skip to main content

Payton Sandfort: Here's why I'm committing to Iowa basketball


Payton Sandfort  |  as told to Register recruiting reporter Matthew Bain
play
Show Caption

Editor's note: Waukee's Payton Sandfort, one of the country's top shooters in the 2021 class, announced on Thursday that he will attend the University of Iowa. Sandfort selected the Hawkeyes over Utah, Drake, Stanford and others. Sandfort explained his decision to the Register in this first-person account.

Back when Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery called to offer a scholarship in June 2019, he simply told me: "Payton, I want you to come play for me."

So, last Monday, when I got a hold of McCaffery and Iowa's whole coaching staff for a Zoom call, I said: "Fran, remember when you told me you wanted me to come play for you?

"Well, I want to come play for you."

Yes, I'm going to be a Hawkeye. And I couldn't be more excited. There are Hawkeyes everywhere. It’s really cool to represent not only all of Iowa but especially the city of Waukee and my family, which is full of Hawkeyes.

I just felt like, throughout the whole recruiting process, I’ve been really valued by Iowa. I’m going to have a chance to come in and play right away. I love the coaches. I love the campus. Carver-Hawkeye Arena had a great atmosphere when I was in Iowa City. I’ve gotten close with some of the players. So I’m really eager to join the program.

MORE: The state of Iowa's top 2021 basketball recruits

Of course, I loved the other programs recruiting me, too.

Drake was a really good option for me, because I’ve known head coach Darian DeVries for a while and we’re really close, and I think I’d fit in that style really well. I'm also good friends with Tucker DeVries. I don’t know where he's going to commit yet, but it would have been fun to keep playing together if he chooses to play for his dad.

Utah was my only official visit, so I got really close with their players and staff. Salt Lake City a great city and a great place. But, through the COVID-19 pandemic, I realized I really wanted to be close to home.

That made it hard to see myself at Stanford, too. Getting a degree from there is obviously a great opportunity for later in life, but it would be hard to leave home.

Iowa had been gaining momentum in my mind for a while now. Last week, I told myself that I was going to be a Hawkeye, just to see how my mind would react.

And I liked the sound of it. A lot.

When I come in, I’m going to do everything I can to win. I’m going to work my hardest, and I’m going to try to set a great example for the younger kids by my actions and what I say and do. I’m going to hopefully make an immediate impact. I’ll work to get as many minutes as I can and just to win games for Hawkeye nation.

Matthew Bain covers recruiting and pretty much anything else under the sports sun for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network.  Contact him at mbain@dmreg.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.

Your subscription makes work like this possible. Join today at DesMoinesRegister.com/Deal.