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Moline's Harding, Freeman ink NLI to play for Iowa

The Iowa Basketball program has found plenty of impact players of late from the QCA, and this year is no different with two Moline Maroons committing to the Hawkeyes

MOLINE, Ill. — A pair of Moline Maroons signed their letters of intent to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball team on Wednesday.

Moline point guard Brock Harding and power forward Owen Freeman inked their commitments to the Iowa Hawkeyes, comprising two of Iowa's three commitments in the class. 

Harding is a two-time IBCA all-state selection. He helped lead the Maroons to 28 wins and the round of 32 in the last year's 4A playoffs. 

Freeman is a 2022 IBCA all-state selection. He transferred from Bradley-Bourbonnais to Moline after his junior year. Standing at 6 feet 10 inches tall, Freeman helped lead Bradley-Bourbonnais to 23 wins last season. 

Harding is the 148th-ranked player in the country, the 21st-ranked point guard and the seventh-ranked player in the state of Illinois, according to 247 Sports. He held numerous offers prior to committing to the Hawkeyes in June. Harding reported offers from Appalachian State, Bradley, Cal Poly, Colorado State, Drake, Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Illinois-Chicago, IPFW, Loyola, Radford, Rice, Saint Louis, SEMO, Southern Illinois and Western Illinois. 

Freeman is the 145th-ranked player in the country, the 31st-ranked power forward and the sixth-ranked player in Illinois, according to 247 Sports. He held multiple high-major offers prior to committing to Iowa on Nov. 9, 2022, exactly one year prior to yesterday's signing. Freeman reported offers from Wisconsin, Butler, Illinois, Indiana, Marquette, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Wake Forest and Western Illinois. 

"It's just a great feeling. Knowing how hard I worked and how hard my circles worked for me," Harding said. "Just being able to sign today and obviously have one of my best friends with me to sign too, it's just a great feeling to finally get it out of the way. And now we just get to focus on the high school season and make history for our school."

"All those late nights with my parents and my brother in the gym, they're paying off. That feeling adds on to everything. It's just special," Freeman said of his signing. 

The Moline duo will join Rock Island graduate Amarion Nimmers next season, who's currently a freshman for the Hawkeyes. When that happens, three of 15 roster spots and 20% of Iowa's roster will be occupied by Quad City prep athletes. 

Previous Quad City area alums to find success for Iowa include Bettendorf's Nicolas Baer and current NBA G Leaguer Joe Wieskamp from Muscatine.

Without Freeman, Moline finished last season ranked No. 8 in the final AP poll. With his addition, the Maroons have been widely regarded as one of the top contenders for the 4A title. They kick off their season against Wisconsin Lutheran at Washington Community High School in Washington, Illinois on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

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