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Posted September 6, 2011

Iowa's McCaffery Offers 14-Year-Old Scholarship, Player Stunned

Iowa City Press-Citizen, Pat Harty|head

Two days later and 14-year-old Dubuque native Seth Bonifas still was stunned about receiving a scholarship offer from Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery.

His father, on the other hand, was torn about what to do.

Do you wait to see if other Division I schools offer the 6-foot-9 Bonifas, who is a sophomore at Dubuque Senior, or do you accept McCaffery's scholarship offer?

"It's hard to know what may be out there, and it's also hard not to just jump right at the Iowa offer and take that right away," Mark Bonifas said Monday morning.

Seth Bonifas, who turns 15 Wednesday, said he grew up cheering for Iowa and is thrilled to have received the offer.

But as of Monday, he still was trying to digest what happened.

"I have no idea when I'm going to make a decision," Seth Bonifas said. "I'm just still a little stunned that I got (the offer)."

Mark Bonifas said he wouldn't object to his son committing to Iowa sometime soon.

"If he seriously wanted to do that, that would be fine with us," Mark Bonifas said.

Iowa was the first school to offer Bonifas a scholarship. But at least two other Big Ten schools are interested in him, with Bonifas already having visited Minnesota and Wisconsin.

"We've been doing the AAU thing a couple years now with the Barnstormers, and the coaches have really been working with him well," Mark Bonifas said. "Their feedback to us has always been that Seth is doing really good. He's developing real quickly and he's moving along fast."

Seth Bonifas said McCaffery told him that he'd seen him play against enough AAU competition to believe he deserved a scholarship offer. The offer came Saturday after Bonifas and his parents had toured the Iowa basketball facilities.

Bonifas plays center for his high school team, but he's trying to expand his game.

"Right now, I'm a center, but I'm working on a 15-foot jump shot so I'm trying to be able to play (power forward), too," he said.

Bonifas said he's been told by doctors that he could grow another inch or two.

He also has almost three more years to add muscle to his 195-pound frame before he enters college.

The earliest he could sign a letter of intent with a college is in November of his senior year, which is slightly more than two years from now.

"I'm just going to go out there and play like I've always played and see where it goes," Bonifas said.


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