“All of it was a privilege.”
After helping the South Dakota State University men’s basketball team to a conference championship in 1943, Ned Postels (1947 B.S.E.) was looking to transfer to a larger school and study civil engineering.
“I had a good game against Iowa the season before,” says Ned, who decided to call the Hawkeyes’ head coach, Lawrence “Pops” Harrison, to inquire about transferring. The second-year head coach of the Hawkeyes agreed to the transfer, and Ned spent the next three seasons competing for some of the best teams in University of Iowa men’s basketball history.
Because of his strong defensive abilities, Ned’s presence was immediately felt on the court. During three letterwinning seasons, Ned helped the Hawkeyes to an impressive 45-9 record. The 1944-45 season—Ned’s second year with the Hawkeyes—saw Iowa ranked No. 1 in the nation for much of the season, which resulted in the first ever sellout of the UI Field House. The team ended up finishing 17-1 and claiming the program’s first Big Ten Conference title.
To this day, Ned—who owned Grinnell Beverage Company for a number of years—feels a strong sense of gratitude for his time at Iowa, and that’s why he established the Ned and Reba Postels Family Athletic Scholarship in 2011. Since then, Ned has made additional outright gifts to further support a student-athlete on the Hawkeye men’s basketball team by endowing a scholarship. Ned credits the mentoring and guidance he received at Iowa as a catalyst for his generosity.
“I received help in finding a good job on campus, I had the opportunity to play basketball every day, and I was able to earn a degree from the University of Iowa,” says Ned. “All of it was a privilege.”