When the Penn Quakers take on the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday night there will be two reunions of sorts at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery will be coaching against his alma mater, and the Jok brothers will be on the same court for the first time at the college level.
Dau’s a senior guard at Penn and Peter’s a freshman wing at Iowa, and the matchup is notable based upon what they and their family had to endure to reach this point. The Jok family escaped from the Southern Sudan after their father, a general in the People’s Liberation Army, was murdered.
According to Dave Zeitlin of CSN Philly, at least 40 family members are expected to be in attendance tonight. To say the least, neither Jok brother expected that they would one day have the opportunity to play against each other.
“It’s incredible,” said Dau, shaking his head in disbelief, shortly before departing for Iowa with his Penn teammates. “It’s a blessing, man.”
“It’s crazy,” Peter told reporters in Iowa. “I never thought I would get to play him. But it is a great opportunity at the end of the day, so I’m just looking to take advantage of that.”
Dau created the Dut Jok Youth Foundation (named for his late father) in hopes of helping Southern Sudanese children, with the goal being to provide the youth with the resources and opportunities (both athletic and academic) needed to stop the cycle of violence that has plagued the nation for years.
Dau has played just eight minutes in three games this season for the Quakers, averaging one point and one rebound per game. Peter’s seen more action at Iowa, playing just over 18 minutes per game and posting averages of 9.8 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. But while bragging rights will be on the line, more importantly Dau and Peter can use the night to celebrate how far they’ve come.