Colton Iverson, a former player with the Minnesota Gophers mens’ basketball team, has moved to the Glenwood-Starbuck area with his wife and son. Colton, who is married to Sarah (Roering) Iverson, a graduate of Minnewaska Area High School, is working as a realtor for Glenwood State Bank.
Colton attended Yankton High School in Yankton, SD and went on to play three years for the Gophers, under head coach Tubby Smith, before transferring to Colorado State, where he led the team in scoring (14.2 points) per game and rebounding (9.8) and helped the team advance to the round-of-32 in the NCAA Tourney for the first time since 1989.
He was named first-team All-Mountain West and an honorable mention All-American by the AP. He was selected with the 53rd overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Indiana Pacers. He was later traded to the Boston Celtics on draft night. He joined the Celtics’ 2013 NBA Summer League, but on Aug. 2, 2013, he signed a one-year deal with Besiktas Integral Forex of the Turkish Basketball League. He went on to play nine total years overseas with stints in Spain, Turkey, Israel, Russia, Australia and Japan.
His father, Chuck, was a former U of SD basketball standout and was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics of the NBA as well as by Memphis of the ABA. Colton averaged 17.9 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game as a senior at Yankton, SD, leading his team to a fifth place finish in the SD State AA Tourney.
We sent some questions to Colton for a Q-A session and he was kind enough to send back the following comments.
Welcome to the community!
• Did your father ever end up playing in the ABA or NBA after being drafted?
My father, Chuck, was drafted by the Seattle Super Sonics. At the time, you could only play in one league or the other, so he ended up turning down a contract in the ABA to chase his dream of playing for Bill Russell, who was the head coach of the Sonics at the time. He ended up being the last player cut for the final roster spot. He then traveled overseas with an American team and continued his basketball career before eventually getting into coaching.
• Why did you eventually transfer from the Gophers and did you ever regret your decision?
After my junior year with the Gophers, I decided to explore the option of transferring to find more opportunity and exposure to get to the next level and become a professional basketball player. It was a very tough decision because I have always loved the U and always will and it was my dream to play there, but it did work out best for my basketball career in the end no matter how difficult it was to leave my teammates, coaches and Minnesota.
• How close did you get to playing in the NBA?
After my senior year at Colorado State, I signed with an agency who I believed would get me to the next level. After my senior year and before the NBA Draft, I had individual workouts with 17 of the 30 teams in the NBA. During the process, I had built a very good relationship with Danny Ainge, who was the GM of the Celtics at the time, and they had told me before the draft they were going to try and get me. I ended up getting drafted by the Celtics but never made the regular season roster. I lived in Boston for three summers to train with the team and play in the NBA Summer League.
• What was it like playing overseas basketball? What was your favorite country to play for?
Playing overseas was a big adjustment at first, going into different countries and different cultures and trying to adjust to their style of basketball with language barriers and being away from family in different time zones. The seasons were 9 to 10 months long, playing between 50-70 games a year in several different countries depending on the league. Each team I played for played in both their country’s domestic league as well as a European League (EuroLeague). EuroLeague is comparable to the NBA, and actually several players of both the EuroLeague and NBA have played in both leagues.
I usually tried to travel and explore during the season so I could return home as soon as the season was over knowing I had taken in the experience during the season. My favorite country to play in was probably Spain or Israel; both of those countries were so fun to live in, from the beaches to the food and the history you learn while traveling in those counties.
• When did you meet Sarah and when did you marry? If you married during your playing days, what did she do while you were playing overseas? Do you have any kids?
I met my wife Sarah the first year I transferred to Colorado State. Her being on the golf team, we ran into each other often in the athletic facilities and around campus. My rookie season overseas Sarah was a senior. Once she completed her degree and golf career, we got married and she began traveling with me overseas. She was a trooper to travel the world with me so I could keep playing basketball. We have a 2 year old boy, Maverick, and another one on the way due in April. We’re excited to raise our family here in the Minnewaska area.
• What made you come back to the Glenwood area and where do you live?
After Sarah and I met, we started spending the summers in Glenwood and I fell in love with the community immediately. Probably since the first summer I spent with Sarah and her family in Glenwood, we knew we wanted to live and raise our family here. Sarah graduated from Minnewaska and her entire family lives here. My family is also not too far of a drive away, making it a great place for us to reside.
• You are currently a realtor at GSB. Did you go to school for that and was that your plan, or did it just work out that way?
I have always had an interest in real estate since graduating from college. I graduated with a degree in Liberal Arts and a Minor in Business and Marketing. During my professional basketball career, my wife and I purchased a few investment properties which kept me interested in the market. I’ve always known when I was done with basketball this would be my next journey.
• What kinds of things do you like to do in your spare time?
You can find my family and I outdoors frequently. We love spending time in and around the lake, as well as on the golf course. I absolutely love the Minnewaska community and have been so fortunate to feel at home here even without being raised here. What was once a short summer and time with family and friends (during my career) has now turned into a full time residence so I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone year round.