Gustafson to join Iowa United in The Basketball Tournament

If she isn’t pursued by the WNBA after being waived by the Dallas Wings, Megan Gustafson has found her landing spot for the summer.


David Harmantas

Iowa forward Megan Gustafson (10) looks for a shot during a basketball game against Michigan State on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans 86-71.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

After getting cut by the WNBA’s Dallas Wings, former Hawkeye Megan Gustafson will become the first active women’s professional basketball player to compete in The Basketball Tournament.

The Basketball Tournament, also known as TBT, is a 64-team, single-elimination tournament for $2 million with games that take place in July and August, airing on ESPN.

If she is not pursued by a WNBA team, Gustafson will join former Hawkeyes Nicholas Baer and Peter Jok on Iowa United, which is a team comprised of former Iowa, Iowa State, and Drake players.

Although Gustafson may be the first active professional women’s player to compete in TBT, she has found success against men before.

“I am very excited for this opportunity to play in TBT for Iowa United,” Gustafson said in a release. “I am still very much interested in the WNBA, and if I get picked up by a team, that will be my priority. But I want to make sure that I am training at a high level this summer and this is providing me with just that. I am thankful for the support I have received over this past week, and I look forward to representing the state of Iowa once again!”

RELATED: Gustafson comments on release from Dallas Wings in blog post

Former Iowa guard and current Truman State head coach Jeff Horner will coach the team.

Iowa United has applied to play in the Wichita, Kansas, regional, which goes from July 25-28. Two teams — AfterShocks, a Wichita State alumni team, and Purple & Black, a Kansas State alumni team — have already been accepted to play in the regional.

Before taking her talents to TBT, Gustafson led the nation with 27.8 points per game last season and finished third with 13.4 rebounds a game en route to winning the Naismith Award and AP Player of the Year honors.

“We are ecstatic and honored to have this year’s College Player of the Year playing in TBT,” TBT founder and CEO Jon Mugar said in a release. “It’s a milestone we never thought possible. Aside from being a phenomenal player, Megan is a tremendous inspiration, as she’s taking on the challenge of playing with and against the top male players in the world this summer. We’re lucky to have her.”