Joe Wieskamp, Trenton Wallace and Colton Johnson realized the dream of a lifetime in 2021.
Each were drafted by professional sports teams, extending successful careers beyond college by welcoming the challenge presented at the next level.
Wieskamp, a Muscatine native who had a standout college career at Iowa, was selected in the second round with the 41st overall pick in July’s NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs.
Wallace and Johnson were chosen in baseball’s annual draft.
A Davenport Assumption graduate from Rock Island, Wallace was taken in the 11th round by the Toronto Blue Jays after earning Big Ten pitcher of the year honors as a fourth-year junior at Iowa.
Johnson, a Kewanee alum and fifth-year senior pitcher for Illinois State, was chosen by the Oakland Athletics in the 16th round of the draft.
Wieskamp, who was joined in the second round of the NBA draft by Hawkeye teammate Luka Garza, watched his future unfold from his parent’s home in Muscatine.
“We kept it pretty small, just my family and grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins,’’ Wieskamp said at the time. “It was a special moment just to have them there with me.’’
The 6-foot-6 Wieskamp made his NBA debut on Nov. 10 when he scored three points for the Spurs in a game against Sacramento and has split time between San Antonio and the organization’s G League affiliate.
Both Wallace and Johnson tasted their first competition as professionals late in the 2021 season.
Pitching for Dunedin in the Low-A Southeast League, Wallace took the mound five times, finishing 0-1 and recording a hold in a relief role.
Johnson went 0-1 in three appearances for Stockton in the Low-A West League, striking out seven batters in 3.1 innings.
— Steve Batterson