Nothing but net: Iowa men’s basketball student manager Jack Devlin sinks half-court shot during Senior Night

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the Iowa men’s basketball team’s Senior Night victory happened during a timeout.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa’s senior student manager Jack Devlin celebrates hitting a half court shot during a timeout in a men’s basketball game between No. 24 Iowa and Northwestern in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. Devlin took part in Iowa’s senior day festivities. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats, 82-61.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

Austin Ash hit a 3-pointer from the TigerHawk logo. Jordan Bohannon kissed that same logo before walking off the Carver-Hawkeye Arena floor one last time. Connor McCaffery nailed a career-high five 3-pointers. But perhaps the most memorable moment of the Iowa men’s basketball team’s Senior Night victory happened during a timeout.

Jack Devlin, a senior student manager, drained a half-court shot during a late stoppage in Iowa’s 82-61 win over Northwestern on Monday.

By the time Devlin was shooting as part of his Senior Night recognition, the game had been all but decided. So, instead of listening to head coach Fran McCaffery bark instructions in the huddle, Iowa players and coaches intently watched Devlin heave shots up toward the basket during his moment in the spotlight. After his first attempt was just off the mark, Devlin dribbled and fired his second shot up.


Hawkeye players swarmed Devlin before hugging and jumping up and down with him in the middle of the celebration. Fran McCaffery, normally fiery and straight-faced during a game, cracked a noticeable grin and chest bumped Devlin before giving him a tight hug. The public address announcer punctuated the moment with a “basket by Jack Devlin” call over the speakers after his shot went through the net. A smile crossed Devlin’s face after he hit the shot. It seemed to stay there the rest of the night, as did the tears that soon rolled down his cheeks. He started to embrace seemingly anyone near him on the court.

Apparently, Devlin was so excited, he mistakenly left the arena instead of going to a postgame press conference, where he was scheduled to take questions.

But Fran McCaffery and Iowa’s players did plenty of talking for him.

“It was almost like it was a scripted night,” Bohannon, who is second-place all-time in 3-pointers among men’s Power Five players, said. “We’re not even paying attention to the timeout; our student manager is shooting from half-court. It was almost like an open gym. What a cool moment for Jack Devlin. He does a lot of work behind the scenes. All of our student managers do. They’re some of the hardest working people in all of college basketball.”

Devlin is a student in the University of Iowa’s REACH (Realizing Educational and Career Hopes), a certificate program in the UI College of Education for students ages 18 to 25 years old with intellectual, cognitive, and learning disabilities. Jack’s parents, Matt and Erin Devlin, told the REACH program in 2020 that it was helping Jack reach his dreams, which include working for a college or professional sports organization.

RELATED: Austin Ash, Iowa men’s basketball celebrate senior night win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

After joining REACH in 2018, Devlin started working with the men’s basketball team in 2019.

During his freshman year, Devlin was introduced to the team and attended all of Iowa’s home games. Then, as a sophomore, he started to have a regular schedule as a student manager. In that role, Devlin and his colleagues assist with setting up practice and warmups, while also ensuring other day-to-day aspects within the program run smoothly. Before the 2021-22 season, he was surprised and brought on as a full-time intern.

“When Jack first joined the Hawkeye basketball family, he was a little bit shy,” Fran McCaffery said. “He wanted to be involved, but he didn’t know anybody. Our guys took a liking to him right away. He’s not shy for long. He’s got personality, he’s got a sense of humor. I think almost immediately he felt like he was part of the group.”

Ash, Bohannon, and Connor McCaffery were the three senior players recognized before tipoff on Monday, while Devlin and two other student managers were also acknowledged.

Devlin knew he was going to be shooting half-court shots in front of a Carver crowd, and Iowa players did the best they could to help him prepare. The Hawkeyes were developing strategies for him to make it. They rebounded his shots and passed him the ball in practice sessions.

“I’m gonna be honest, he’s been cold recently,” Connor McCaffery said. “We had practice rounds for him, and he’s been ice cold. They’ve all been right there.

“He was short,” Ash chimed in.

“He couldn’t get it there,” Connor McCaffery responded. “Today, I think it was the adrenaline that got it there. And, I mean, swish. Second one. Can’t make it up.”

Patrick McCaffery acted as Devlin’s personal hype man, Fran McCaffery said. Just before Devlin locked in, he fist-bumped Patrick. Seconds later, he made thousands of Hawkeye fans stand and let out cheers louder than any others from Monday night.

Devlin was born in New York City while his father worked there. He came to the UI with the intention of having a normal college experience, he once said during a feature on him that ran on the Big Ten Network. But his Senior Day at Carver-Hawkeye Arena was far from normal. The shot and Devlin’s celebration went viral, appearing on ESPN, Bleacher Report, the March Madness Twitter account, and various other outlets. In the end, his moment at midcourt provided a memory the Hawkeyes won’t soon forget.

“I knew as soon as that thing went in, the players were going to go nuts,” Fran McCaffery said. “It’s truly genuine, and it was a great feeling for all of us — for someone so special to us.”