If you see a group of rowdy college kids with their chests painted inside of Kansas City’s Sprint Center this week, do not be alarmed. That’s probably just some old high school buddies of Iowa State freshman Clayton Custer.
Custer, an Overland Park, Kan. native, will return to his hometown tonight when the Cyclones take on Alabama in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic (8:30 on ESPN2).
The fact that this tournament is taking place during Thanksgiving break is an added bonus. That means that Custer’s friends will be back in town and the Custer family will be there in masses.
“I’m scared that my friends are going to do some body paint or something,” Custer joked. “I don’t know what they are going to do. I’m kind of scared.”
Custer, the 2014 Kansas City Star Player of the Year, led Blue Valley Northwest High School to four straight championship games during his prep career. Even so, the three-time all-state point guard (in Kansas) has never played in the Sprint Center.
Custer was diagnosed with mono shortly before Iowa State’s season so he has been working his way back to being healthy. Through two games, he has only averaged 2.5 minutes of playing time per.
“I think I am 100 percent,” Custer said. “These last few days in practice I have been trying to go as hard as I can. I’m just trying to be everywhere on the floor and am trying to lead and prove myself. I’ll keep working as hard as I can."