CLAS journalism students help produce book chronicling historic season for Iowa women’s basketball

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication, with the help of students and faculty, will publish a photo and essay book documenting the women’s basketball team and their history-making season.
Thursday, March 28, 2024

By Emily Delgado  

With all eyes on the University of Iowa’s women’s basketball team, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC), in collaboration with The Daily Iowan, is documenting basketball phenomena Caitlin Clark and the Iowa women's team in a new book that will be published following the end of what has been another storybook season.  

“For a university known for great storytelling, I think it's important to tell the story of not only this team and this moment, but what it all means for Iowa, women's basketball, and women's sports as a whole,” journalism adjunct instructor Wayne Drehs said. Drehs comes to Iowa after an Emmy-winning career as an ESPN journalist and is now teaching and mentoring students at Iowa.  

Iowa women's basketball

The book will include photos taken by Daily Iowan photographers, including scenes from games, practices, and behind-the-scenes moments with the team. The content of the book has been spread headed by the photography team at The Daily Iowan.  

“While this has been a fantastic collaboration between the DI and the SJMC, I don't want to underestimate or overlook the work of the students in the Daily Iowan's documentary workshop,” Wayne said.  

The book will also feature essays and articles produced by journalism students, including Drehs’ sports writing class, about this significant moment in Iowa athletics and women’s basketball. 

There will also be essays written by record-breaking tennis player Billie Jean King, college basketball coach Jackie Stiles, UI President Barbara Wilson, and Gov. Kim Reynolds.  

“The team just represents what it means to be an Iowa Hawkeye so well. Beyond athletics, I hope this book will remind people about the incredibly talented students we have in the SJMC and The Daily Iowan,” Drehs said.  

Mia Boulton, a first-year journalism student, and avid women’s basketball fan is thankful for the opportunity to contribute to the book. Boulton, was a part of the students who accompanied Drehs to report on the Iowa vs. Nebraska game.  

“Iowa women's basketball is changing the future for young female athletes. It deserves this coverage. It needs this coverage. It is only fair to give those athletes, this team, and this sport the documentation they have earned,” Boulton said. 

McKenna Roering is another student whose work will be in the book and who reported on the Iowa vs. Nebraska game. Roering has spent hours inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena during the season capturing the sport and the atmosphere of the games. 

“I don't think there's a better group of people to tell this story than students. We go to school with Clark and the rest of the team,” Roering, a third-year student majoring in journalism said. “We are in Iowa City every day and know the team better than most.” 

Roering said the book will be a great way to show off not just the Iowa women’s basketball team but also the future journalists and communicators in Iowa. 

“I went to Carver about five hours before tip-off one day and just walked around the arena trying to find workers to talk to. I also went into the crowd and outside to find fans who were first in line or had cool signs. A lot of it was just about observing, too. You can learn a lot by being aware of your surroundings and keeping your ears open,” Roering said.  

As someone who experienced not just the excitement of the game but of the process of writing the book, Roering is excited to see the final product and be a part of women in sports history as one herself.  

“There is no better time to be a woman in sports in Iowa,” Roering said. “This historic time in the university's history and the country, in general, needs to be documented for the memories but also as inspiration for future generations.”  

The book can be ordered online at The Daily Iowan and $1 of pre-sales will be donated to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.  

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers about 70 majors across the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. About 15,000 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by faculty at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all Iowa undergraduates through the college's general education program, CLAS CORE. About 80 percent of all Iowa undergraduates begin their academic journey in CLAS. The college confers about 60 percent of the university's bachelor's degrees each academic year.