PHOENIX — University of Iowa senior Peter Jok celebrated his birthday and wore his Hawkeye jersey one final time Thursday by winning the College 3-Point Championships event held as part of the festivities at the NCAA Final Four. Jok becomes the first Hawkeye to win the event.
Jok, who turned 23 Thursday, had to fight off the hometown favorite to win the title. Jok registered a score of 20 in the final round, edging past DeWayne Russell of Grand Canyon College (15), who was competing in his home gymnasium.
In taking the title, Jok defeated a field that also included Bryce Alford of UCLA, Torian Graham of Arizona State, Villanova’s Kris Jenkins, Matt Jones of Duke, Iowa State’s Naz Mitrou-Long, and Michigan’s Derrick Walton, Jr.
Jok had the highest score of the first round, scoring 21 points to finish ahead of Russell (19), Jones (19) and Walton (18).
In the semifinals, Jok registered a score of 22 points to advance to the finals against Russell (22). Walton (15) and Jones (14) failed to advance to the finals.
In the finals, Jok shot first and posted his winning score ahead of Russell, while head coach Fran McCaffery and his staff watched from the sidelines.
“I went first and was able to put some pressure on him,” said Jok, of defeating Russell in the final round. “I had to represent the state of Iowa.”
Despite defeating the hometown favorite in the finals, Jok was serenaded with the singing of Happy Birthday from the sold out crowd.
In the final event of the 3-point contest, Jok competed against women’s champion Kindred Wesemann of Kansas State, with both posting a score of 16.