IOWA CITY -- Alex Malloy made his mark as an all-state basketball player at Bishop Heelan.
Now he's trading in those sneakers for shoulder pads.
Malloy, who hasn't played football since his freshman year of high school, has decided to give the sport another whirl. He reports to practice with the Hawkeyes on Monday as a walk-on.
"It's kind of crazy how it all worked out, but I really missed competing," said Malloy. "I decided a long time ago I wanted to do this, but once my brother made his decision, that prompted me to say ‘hey, this is something I can do.'"
The lean, 6-foot-4 athlete with springs in his legs played in four state tournaments and was a starter on three consecutive Iowa Class 3A state championship basketball teams. Malloy made the 2011 Iowa Newspaper Association first team all-state squad after averaging 18.9 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 63 percent from the field as a senior.
However, he decided against continuing his basketball career, instead enrolling at the University of Iowa to pursue a degree in human psychology.
In the meantime, younger brother Michael, an all-state football running back at Heelan, accepted a scholarship offer from the Hawkeyes. Although the scholarship offer was withdrawn following an ACL injury one game into his senior season, Michael Malloy signed with Iowa as a preferred walk-on.
That stoked his older brother's competitive fire.
"After my brother made his decision, I thought it would be a real cool opportunity to go through the experience with him," Alex said.
He got in touch with wide receivers coach Erik Campbell and, after some back-and-forth e-mails, Campbell met with Malloy at the Iowa football offices.
"Coach Campbell gave me his seal of approval, but told me he still had to clear it with Coach (Kirk) Ferentz," he said. I got in touch with them yesterday (Thursday) and they told me that they'd already had one practice, but that they wanted me to get going on everything."
Malloy completed his paperwork, attended a couple of meetings and took his physical. He played basketball at around 185 pounds, but through rigorous workouts, he's now up to 210.
"They have a great coaching staff and all of the people I've met with have been phenomenal," said Malloy, who eventually plans on becoming a doctor. "They wouldn't be doing this if they didn't think it would be successful.