The center for Iowa State Cyclones women’s basketball team got an on-court surprise this weekend when her boyfriend proposed marriage to her in front of her coach, team and thousands of cheering fans.
Anna Prins, who at 6-foot-7 holds the claim of tallest player ever for Iowa’s women’s team, was court side with her teammates at the school’s Hilton Coliseum, following their 86-47 victory over Alabama State, when her boyfriend Ryan De Hamer popped the question.
“One of the things about the holidays is that it’s all about family, and today we get to share a very special moment with one of our players,” Cyclones coach Bill Fennelly said to the crowd, who had lingered after the game. “[She] has been a big part of our team for four years …. We have a special moment for Anna.”
Sitting with her teammates, it’s clear in a video posted to YouTube, which was compiled from friends and family footage by De Hamer, that Prins is quickly figuring out what’s about to happen. Her teammates can barely contain their excitement.
In front of a crowd of 7,000, Prins sheepishly walked up to him at the center of the court as De Hamer riles up the cheering crowd. Once Prins is in front of him, De Hamer wasted no time, simply asking, “Anna Prins, will you marry me?”
She said yes.
Within a few seconds her teammates leap from their seats and surrounded the newly engaged couple on the court.
De Hamer had been scheming about the proposal behind Prins’ back for a few weeks, the Ames Tribune reported. Prins’ parents and brother from Colorado were in the audience, as was De Hamer’s family.
De Hamer told ABC News that he and Prins have dated for three years and he knew she wanted to get married soon.
“The thought was we would wait until after she graduates. She’s going to be a teacher so she has some more time to go. She was thinking I would have asked her next year or so,” the Iowa State graduate said, adding that Prins had “no idea” about the proposal.
“She didn’t make any demands to have anything happen soon. But one of her best friends on the team, her boyfriend was going to propose soon so that got me motivated,” he added.
Despite all his preparation, the former college baseball player was struck by extreme nervousness before Prins’ game ended and he was to pop the question.
“I had to leave five minutes before the game ended to calm myself down,” he said. “I was just gathering my thoughts, trying to just get into the realization of what was really happening.”
De Hamer, who is 6-foot-8, said he was sure Prins would accept his proposal.
The two haven’t set a wedding date, but De Hamer said they’ll probably tie the knot in the summer of 2014 after Prins graduates.