Trisha Nesbitt and Jaime Printy first met when they played AAU basketball in the summer of their junior year.
“I knew Jaime before we were teammates on AAU but I didn’t get to really know her until we played on the same team,” said Trisha. “Then we became really close, and then the next year was when we played against each other in the semifinals at state.”
Trisha’s team, Ames High School, knocked of Linn-Mar and Jaime in overtime.
They became teammates in the fall of 2009.
As teammates, they have helped lead the Hawkeyes to three straight NCAA tournament games, three straight finishes in the upper half of the Big Ten plus 61 wins, 31 in the Big Ten.
Last season both were injured, but still helped lead the team just when you thought the season was over.
The Hawkeyes opened the preseason 8-5. After they lost at Nebraska 60-53 on Jan. 26, their record was 11-10, 3-5 in the Big Ten.
They were on the brink of not making the NCAA tournament and their backs were against the wall.
Purdue, which was ranked 13th in the nation, came to Carver-Hawkeye Arena and the Hawks played one of their best games of the year in a 59-42 win.
Jaime was held to seven points, but Morgan Johnson and Kamille Wahlin combined for 30 in a big victory.
Iowa then knocked off Wisconsin in overtime at Madison, but lost Jaime for the season.
The Hawks would go on to win six more straight games and get a shot at the NCAA tournament.
How did they do it?
“It’s really hard when you’re going through losses and injuries and you’re just kind of questioning ‘what is going on?’” said Trisha, who was named Academic-All Big Ten the last two years. “I feel like the last couple of years we just peaked at the right time. It’s so fun to go on those runs. We just kept doing what we know how to do and we knew it would eventually work. We’ve gone through a lot of adversity and we’ve learned how to fight through it.”
Trisha only played in 15 games last year after having minor knee surgery and missing the first 10 games.
Trisha’s best and most healthiest season was her freshman year when she played in all 34 games, scored 84 points, shot 80 percent from the free throw line and dished out 43 assists.
“I came here thinking I knew I probably wasn’t going to play a lot,” said Trisha. “I wanted to try to prove myself and after having some injuries with some girls on the team. It forced all of us freshmen to come in and step up. I think at one point we were playing with seven people for most of the season.”
Trisha thinks that the experience her, Jaime and Morgan got early is helping out now.
Morgan played a lot more because Joann Hamlin was out for the year and Jaime stepped in when Hannah Draxton went down.
Trisha was hurt early in her sophomore year and only played in 15 games.
“I think I pushed it a little too early to get back,” said Trisha. “The rest of the year I continued to fight it and it was just awful and I didn’t play that much when I was back.”
After the season, Trisha took some time off before she started training again.
Trisha ran track and played soccer as well as being an all-state basketball player for Ames high school.
“I played soccer my freshman and sophomore year and I loved soccer,” said Trisha. “My junior year I decided to choose between soccer and basketball.”
Thankfully for the Hawkeyes, she chose basketball.
She was first team all-state her junior and senior seasons and helped lead her high school to two conferences titles and two state tournament appearances. She holds the school record for single-season assists (140), as well as free throws made in a season (145) and career (375).
When Trisha was a senior she helped lead her team to the state championship that they lost to Sioux City North.
In the semifinal game they knocked off Linn-Mar and Jaime in overtime.
“I had a lay-up at the buzzer to send it to overtime,” said Trisha. “The play wasn’t even for me. We were going to get it to one of our three-point shooters in the corner and she panicked so she threw it up to me. I was at the top of the key and I was like ‘Wow, time’s running out I have to get it to the rim.’ I got to the rim and made this crazy lay-up thing and we were tied.”
Ames hit a big three to start OT and would go to the final.
Trisha had offers from all the Missouri Valley schools, plus some out-of-state schools like Colorado State and Boise State.
“I narrowed it down to Creighton, Drake and Iowa,” said Trish. “Because I knew I wanted to be close to home. I loved Creighton because they were my first offer. It was crazy because every school I visited, I wanted to go there.”
The Hawkeyes won out.
“When I went to Iowa Jaime was there,” said Trisha. “The coaches were unbelievable and there was just something about it. It was the Big Ten, the whole college experience, the football, the big school and still being close to home. It was crazy because I never in my right mind thought I’d be going to Iowa growing up in Ames.”
Lisa Bluder said she can’t believe that Trisha and Jaime are seniors. She said both of them have been such a joy to coach.
“Trisha has always been a great leader for us,” said Lisa. “She is a hard worker and achieves academically as well, earning a four-point in the classroom last semester! Both are just tremendous human beings and represent the Hawkeyes in a first class manor.”
Next week… Jaime Printy.