When Iowa City High guard Rose Nkumu is on the floor, good things tend to happen for the Little Hawks.
As a sophomore on last season’s Class 5A state runner-up, the 5-foot-8 floor general averaged 13.2 points, 3.1 assists and perhaps most impressively 3.2 steals per game.
“I’ve always been an attacker and always found some way to get to the rim, whether that’s to make a basket or to hit one of my open teammates for a shot, that’s just been my style of play my whole career. And I really specialize on defense,” said Nkumu.
“Recently I’ve been working on my mid-range and my 3-point shot, just trying to incorporate that a little bit more in to my game.”
This past spring and summer, Nkumu was mixing it up with some of the state’s other premier players on Kingdom Hoops 17U.
“This was my second year with them, and it’s just really cool because I got to play with Zoe Young, Maggie McGraw and Grace Cummings,” said Nkumu. “And it was really cool learning from them, and seeing how they play gave me insight into what play in college will be like.”
Now an upperclassmen with a Little Hawks, Nkumu is poised to have her best season yet, for a team that is again projected to vie for a state title.
“This year, we’re not the tallest team but we definitely have some speed on our side,” she said. “We’ve been working on rebounding and pushing the ball, and just using our strengths to expose other teams.”
The next 12 months will be big in terms of Nkumu’s recruitment, which started to ramp up for her in the last year. Iowa, Kansas State and Minnesota have been recruiting her of late, she has offers from Creighton, Illinois State, Miami-Ohio, Northern Iowa and Drake.
“It’s just a really cool experience that not a lot of people get to go through, so I’m very thankful that I get to be a part of it,” said Nkumu.
“Hopefully just by getting to know all the coaches, I can find the school that’s right for me. And the most important thing this year is to improve my game so when it comes to state tourney time or next AAU season, I can really show what I’m capable of.”