Conrad Hawley high-fives Iowa State fans after Iowa State completes the 14 point comeback against BYU on Mar. 6, 2023. (Tyler Coe)

Throughout Hawley’s time at Iowa State, he had the opportunity to be a part of Champions for Literacy along with his teammate Tamin Lipsey and assistant basketball coach Nate Schmidt.

The program combines sports and reading with an emphasis on reaching underprivileged kids. Hawley, Lipsey and Schmidt had the opportunity to drive to Des Moines, Iowa, to read to kids at an elementary school and help ignite a passion for sports and reading.

Hawley and the whole basketball team have been able to help at multiple youth camps this past year.

“We’re able to split up all the baskets with a couple of players and then we just rotate the kids so each kid gets to experience all the guys,” Hawley said. “I think it’s also really cool for guys and myself to be able to do that because it allows you to be a little kid again.”

Hawley and his teammates, Keshon Gilbert and Hason Ward, continued these relationships beyond the basketball camps. They went to an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) retreat and hung out with the kids who were at past camps.

Throughout the past year, Hawley has been able to tell his story and speak to students. Hawley had always been the pre-game speech kind of guy, so speaking in front of students came naturally to him.

His first group of students was the Gilbert High School football team in the spring of 2023. Hawley has spoken to Ames High School baseball, at different basketball camps and he went back to his high school, Raymore-Peculiar, to speak to the football and basketball team.

Hawley spoke to the students about being a good teammate, owning your role, being accountable and motivating them to play their sport.

He was especially excited to speak at his high school. He knew many of the athletes because they were his brother’s age.

Martin said he felt Hawley’s talk made a difference for many kids. He said one of his biggest takeaways was “Just really embracing your role, whatever it is and being all in and kind of going for it.”

“Start your day out with a few wins,” Hawley said to the Ames baseball team. “You woke up, boom, win number one. You went to the bathroom, brush your teeth. Boom, two more wins right there, you’re 3-0. You gotta lose three more times before you go .500 and .500 teams make the playoffs. How bout that? So freaking wake up. Win your day, live for other people, and own your role no matter what your role is.”


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