Men’s Basketball, South Sioux City, Nebraska
University of Iowa men’s basketball player Mike Gesell has had a busy collegiate career on the court, but the three-year starter has been just as busy off it.
This year, Gesell is the recipient of two athletic scholarships. The Dr. Brent and Ellen Feller Men’s Basketball Scholarship and the Nile Kinnick Memorial Scholarship.
“It shows my hard work,” Gesell said. “I don’t need the recognition, but at the same time it’s a nice honor. I am going to continue to work hard and continue to keep my grades high because it’s a very important thing.”
Brent and Ellen Feller are long time Hawkeye fans and contribute towards athletics in multiple ways. In addition to their endowed scholarship, the Fellers are men’s basketball, wrestling, and football season ticket holders, have made significant ongoing annual gifts to the I-Club, and contributed to the Kinnick Stadium Campaign, the Carver-Hawkeye Arena Enhancement Fund, and the Football Legacy Campaign.
The Nile Kinnick Memorial Scholarship represents the ideals and achievements of one of the University’s truly outstanding graduates. Kinnick was an inspiration to his teammates and classmates at the University of Iowa. He was a talented athlete and equally brilliant in the classroom.
Growing up in a house full of business majors, Gesell found a passion for numbers and followed his family’s footsteps at Iowa’s Tippie College of Business.
“I love numbers,” he said. “I decided to go the business route. My dad, brother and sister all studied business in college. I picked finance and I have loved all of my classes so far.”
Gesell’s family stressed school first, and even as a junior in college, he follows that same philosophy.
“My family pushed me hard. In high school, my parents wouldn’t let me hang out with friends until I finished my homework. That really created a habit and I still do that today. My parents are a big part of why I work so hard.”
A junior eligibility-wise, Gesell has already taken enough credits to make him a senior academically.
“My dream is to play basketball as long as I can,” Gesell said. “That’s what I have been working toward my whole life and I would love to play professionally whether it’s in the NBA or overseas. That’s my ultimate goal, but at the same time nothing is guaranteed and that's why I work so hard in the classroom."