Boys Basketball: Mundelein’s Knar to play on at Northern Iowa
Updated: June 4, 2012 10:59AM
Mundelein’s Robert Knar, who used a quick release to averaged 22.3 points per game in the 2011-12 season, pulled the trigger Monday morning.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound junior guard will play NCAA Division I basketball at the University of Northern Iowa.
Knar, who ranks No. 2 in all-time scoring for the Mustangs (1,897 points), likes everything about the basketball program in Cedar Falls — especially the system that coach Ben Jacobson runs.
“It’s Mundelein-esque,” said Knar, who’s coached by his father, Richard Knar.
Jacobson, who guided the Panthers to a 20-14 record in the winter, has been targeting Knar for some time. Knar selected the Missouri Valley Conference school over Bucknell. He also drew interest from a number of other colleges, including Stanford.
“I chose (UNI) because the academics are great, which has to come first.” Knar said. “I also like the people there, the basketball environment and the coach. I can’t thank (Jacobson) enough. He was a big factor (in the decision).”
Knar, who owns a 4.025 grade-point average at Mundelein, said that he had a 30-minute talk with his dad, who played college ball at Illinois-Chicago — on Sunday night, and they agreed that Northern Iowa was a good fit.
“Of course, I had to clear it with my mom,” Knar said with a smile.
His former club coach, Mike Weinstein, also is on board.
“It’s a no-brainer for him,” said Weinstein. “He’ll do well there. He’ll be playing for a great coach, who isn’t (planning on) going anywhere. And he’ll be playing in a great atmosphere (McLeod Center, which seats 6,650).”
The Panthers have played outstanding basketball of late. They earned NCAA berths in 2004, ’05, ’06, ’09 and 2010. They reached the Sweet Sixteen in ’10 after upsetting Kansas.
Knar, who made two all-state teams (ICBA third team, Champaign News-Gazette special mention), has plenty of work remaining at Mundelein. He needs only 23 points to match Kyle Kessel’s all-time scoring mark.
He also has a shot to become the all-time leading scorer in Lake County. He’s chasing ex-Deerfield star Ryan Hogan (2,406 points).