JT Rock Heads to Iowa State

JT Rock Reclassifies, enrolls at Iowa State

JT Rock won’t become an adult until next March, but he made a grown-up decision last week. This 17-year-old 7-footer is no longer a future Cylclone. He is a Cylclone. JT Reclassified forgoing his senior year of high school enroll at Iowa State University this fall.

Rock averaged 18 and 10 as a junior at SF Lincoln with almost 4 blocks per game. He had a chance to become the all-time leading scorer at his high school and would have been the favorite to win a state title next season. 

“I guess a lot of people are confused or wondering as to why I would kind of skip out on my senior season. I had a chance to lead my team to the state title and just the senior year experiences overall like homecoming and maybe prom and stuff like that,” said Rock.

Iowa State first proposed this option early in the recruiting process. So, it’s a decision that Rock has been weighing for a while. There were a lot of factors in this decision for JT and Iowa State.

“This was not an easy decision by any stretch, and I don't want that to be the narrative because this was not an easy decision and it wasn't like a like a super-quick decision either,” said Rock.

There were a lot of factors to go through for JT and for Iowa State.

“The positive from both sides is that I can be in the program for a year. I can learn all their stuff they can develop me the way that they want to,” said Rock who plans to redshirt the 23-24 season.

“I guess a positive for me is that I get another year of taking college courses and get closer to getting that degree because education is very important.”

Some people may assume that in this day and age of college players collecting money for Name, Image and Likeness, that JT could cash in, but that wasn’t one of the factors.

“It's not really my top concern to just get more NIL stuff, that's not me. That's not who I am." said Rock. 

I just feel like that is the best option for me when the option was presented - JT Rock

When JT took a closer look at graduating early and found out that he only needed to take three classes this summer, the decision that seemed overwhelming at first started to become easier. The positives outweighed the negatives.

For Iowa State it helps fill their 2023 recruiting class and it opens up another spot for the 24 class. It also gives JT time to prepare for when they’ll need him the most in 2024 with current Iowa State bigs Robert Jones and Hason Ward running out of eligibility at the end of this next season.

Although the prospect of playing big time D1 basketball has become a reality, Rock knows that he’s missing something in return. He knows it might be tough watching Sioux Falls Lincoln play next winter knowing that he could have been part of something special. However he’s comfortable with the trade.

“I just feel like that is the best option for me when the option was presented,” said Rock.
It was something that I felt I couldn't pass up.” 

Rock emphasized that leaving high school had nothing to do with anything at his high school. “It was not a decision based on anything to do with anybody here and to get away from that. It was just a decision that I feel like that this is my next step.”

BONUS Video: TJ Oztelberger breaks down JT ROCK



Filed Under Basketball | Varsity Sports | SD High School