NORTH LIBERTY — Trisha Nesbitt was looking for someone to guard her gym bag.
“I’ll have to pick a friend to keep an eye out for it,” she said.
Trustworthiness was paramount. There was the typical standard fare in the bag — shoes, socks, a towel — but there was something far more valuable.
Her engagement ring.
Yes, Nesbitt is a student. An athlete. And now, a bride-to-be.
Jarryd Cole, a former member of the University of Iowa men’s basketball program, proposed to Nesbitt on June 4 during a family vacation.
“I freaked out. I started bawling,” Nesbitt said Wednesday before taking the court at the Game Time League at the North Liberty Community Center.
Then she accepted. The wedding will be next June in Nesbitt’s hometown of Ames.
“Jarryd has asked my father (Troy, for his blessing) a couple weeks in advance,” said Nesbitt, who will be a senior for the UI women’s team next winter. “Dad said that would be fine, but to wait until the right time. Jarryd had written a poem, and ended it (with the proposal).”
Cole played professional ball last year in Iceland. He’ll leave in August to play in France. Nesbitt will stay in Iowa City, complete her degree, plan a wedding and try to help the Hawkeyes to another NCAA Tournament.
Beset by injuries to her knees and her foot through much of her collegiate career, Nesbitt is one of the healthiest Hawkeyes these days.
“I was one of only three that went through (postseason workouts),” she said before posting six points and five assists as Coralville Hy-Vee defeated Cullen Painting/Monica’s and Bob’s Your Uncle, 75-68. “I’m doing surprisingly well.”
Nesbitt was one of four Hawkeyes on the Hy-Vee roster. Freshman Kali Peschel drained 4 of 5 shots from long range in an 18-point outing.
Peschel suffered a torn ACL last June.
“I’m ready to get this (knee) brace off,” Peschel said. “As soon as I get more endurance and strength, it will come off.
“I’m glad to be here, and I’m ready to contribute — do whatever Coach (Lisa Bluder) wants me to do.”
Kathryn Thomas, a junior-college transfer who will vie for playing time at point guard, added eight points.
A number of Hawkeyes, including Morgan Johnson, Bethany Doolittle, Theairra Taylor, Melissa Dixon and Claire Till, were in attendance but did not play Wednesday.
Brooke Brown of Northern Iowa led the winners with 21 points, making 8 of her first 9 shots.
In the first contest, UNI’s Jen Keitel posted 19 points and 10 rebounds as Vinton Merchants/McCurry’s downed L.L. Pelling/Culver’s, 86-55.