Kacoul Dut "Peter" Jok [2] (born March 30, 1994) is a Sudanese college basketball player for the University of Iowa of the Big Ten Conference. A 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) guard from Khartoum, Jok is currently a junior for the Hawkeyes.

Early life

Jok was born and spent his childhood living in Khartoum, Sudan. When Peter was three years old, his father died as a general for the Sudan People's Liberation Army during the Second Sudanese Civil War. Peter's grandfather, the chief of their village, was also killed during the war. [3] Growing up, Peter was solely exposed to soccer, and had no experience with basketball. The family eventually fled to Uganda and then Kenya to escape the war. [4] [3] They joined many other Sudanese refugees in Des Moines, Iowa, which was where they moved to in December 2003. [3] Jok arrived in the United States without knowing any English. [4]

In fourth grade, Jok was asked by his friends to play basketball for the Greenwood Elementary School team, and he became the tallest player on the team. He drew the attention of Mike Nixon, who wanted to create a fourth-grade Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team at the time. He watched Jok play at a recreational game in Des Moines, and even though he did not touch the ball during the entire game, Jok was asked to join Nixon's team. [3] Jok was reluctant to play basketball at this point in his life, but he made the all-tournament team at the fourth grade AAU state championship. In seventh grade, he won the Spiece tournament title at Fort Wayne, Indiana. [3] He received offers from colleges as early as eighth grade. [5]

High school career

Jok attended Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines for his first two seasons of high school basketball. As a freshman, he was ranked by Scout.com as one of the top 10 recruits in the United States. [5] In 2010, he was invited to the Nike Top 100 camp in St. Louis, making him one of 30 freshmen to attend the event. At the camp, he injured his knee, and thinking that it was tendinitis, he continued to play as a sophomore. However, he later learned that he was suffering from a torn patellar tendon, and he underwent surgery in June 2011. In his sophomore year, Jok averaged 18.5 points and seven rebounds, earning second team all-state and all-conference honors. [6] Following his second season, he transferred to Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, where he was coached by Jeff Horner, who was the all-time assists leader at University of Iowa. [6] Initially, he found it difficult to get back in rhythm. [3] After recovering as a junior, Jok averaged 10.2 points and 4.3 rebounds, shooting 37 percent on three-pointers. [6] In the following season, he was named first-team all-state and first-team Parade All-American, averaging 23.6 points, which made him the top scorer in the Iowa Class 4A. [6]

College career

During his freshman year at the University of Iowa (2013–14), Jok ranked eighth-best among freshmen for his 3-point percentage of 16 out of 46 shots for the Hawkeyes. [6] He also tied a freshman record by scoring 10 or more points and shooting 80 percent or more in a first-round NCAA Tournament game against the University of Tennessee. [6] In his sophomore year (2014–15) he played in all 34 games and averaged 7 points per game. [6]

Personal life

Jok's mother, Amelia Ring Bol, is a member of the South Sudan parliament. She visits Peter and the rest of her family in Des Moines occasionally. [7] His legal guardian in Iowa is Mike Nixon. [6] His younger brother, Jo Jo, plays football as a defensive lineman at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines. [7]

On April 26, 2014, Jok was arrested at 2:43 AM for driving under the influence after turning on an improper lane without a safety flag. In addition, one of his car's rear taillights was missing its cover. After Jok denied the accusations, it was discovered that he had watery eyes and an alcoholic smell, with a blood alcohol content of .082. He was taken into custody and remained at the Johnson County Jail until the middle of the day. [2] His license was revoked. [8] Jok pleaded guilty on May 2 and participated in a weekend drunk driving program. [8] On July 15, 2014, Jok was arrested a second time on the same charge. University of Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said, "I'm very disappointed to learn about this, especially in light of the fact that Peter had a previous incident earlier this summer". [8] Jok was incarcerated for four days at the Johnson County Jail, but his status with the team was unaffected. [9]