USU's Phillips Featured In Article By CSTV On Married Student-Athletes
Jan. 31, 2007
By Lara Boyko
There is an old cliché that some girls go to college not to get their B.A., B.S. or M.B.A., but to get their Mrs.
While most women's basketball players are busy balancing their practicing and playing schedules with their class schedules, there always seems to be time to notice members of the opposite sex. For at least four players in the west, the innocent flirting and getting to know someone has led them down the aisle before completing their eligibility.
Brittany (Tressler) Phillips- Utah State
Juggling school, basketball and life actually became easier for senior forward Phillips after getting married last May.
"It's actually made my life less hectic because you don't have to worry about your social life any more or the dating game," Phillips said, who first met her husband Cory in junior high school. "It's less stressful when you don't have to worry about what your boyfriend thinks of you or even having a roommate. It just makes things easier."
The decision to get married before finishing school may seem strange to some people, but for Phillips it was a comfortable decision to make that was been met with a lot of support.
"It felt right and I wanted to get married as I didn't see a benefit to not getting married," Phillips said, who is working on her master's degree in education while her husband is finishing his B.S. in Biology. "My parents didn't really care, my teammates were really excited and coach (Reagan) Pebley thought it was right for me."
Even with the decision being a no-brainer for Phillips, she does experience some stress with balancing the demands of school, basketball and being a wife.
"We still have those stresses of juggling everything, but with being the responsible people we are, we just get the things that need to get done first," Phillips said, who did do some wedding planning during the 2006 season. "I'm also the type of person that I don't watch TV or play video games, I just do what I need to do to get things done. I think the people view it as being tough to be a student-athlete, but I think you would be surprised with as much free time as we have. For instance, when you are traveling, there is a lot of down time which you can use for studying, so it is a lot easier than you can imagine."
Fortunately for Phillips, one of her stresses with being married does not include having to rush home to put dinner on the table.
"He is really good about making me dinner," Phillips said, who spent her honeymoon in Park City, Utah. "He will make paella, which is really good."
Casey Bunn Nash - Oregon State
For senior guard Nash, to find the love of her life, she only needed to look next door.
"My freshman year, he lived across from me in the dorm," Nash said of her now-husband James. "He was on the men's basketball team here and we used to work out together during the summer. The two teams conditioned together so we would hang out with each other a lot, yet we didn't start dating until a year after he lived across from me in the dorm."
After dating for a year and a half, Nash realized that the time was right to get married, even though both hers and his parents were not sold on the idea quickly.
"Both of our parents did ask us if we were sure about getting engaged because his parents were worried about him pursuing his basketball career and mine were worried about me finishing up mine," Nash said. "My parents were surprised, but they love him a lot so they became really supportive. He is from California, so his parents didn't know much about me and he since he is away from home a lot so they were really surprised, but supported us as well."
Part of the support they received came in the planning for their wedding that took place in Aug. 2005, just three months after getting engaged.
"My mom did all of the planning and helped out a lot," Nash said. "It was perfect because it wasn't during the season."
It was perfect timing at first, the honeymoon didn't last long for Nash.
"We didn't live together before we got married so after we got married basketball and school starting right away for me and it was a whirlwind for a while," said Nash. "Then as soon as we got used to living together with everything else going on, he left for Holland. We've only been together for six months of the year and a half we have been married."
Dani Kubik Wright - BYU
For senior center Wright, a long distance made her heart grow fonder for her longtime boyfriend.
"We dated on and off for five and a half years and then we decided to just tie the knot," Wright said, whose husband moved to Utah from Georgia after they got married last April. "He was living in Georgia and we were tired of the long distance relationship for the last three years."
Even though they waited through many years of dating and a 10-month engagement, Wright had some business to finish at BYU.
"We talked about waiting many times and I was even going to try to hurry up and graduate during summer school, but after talking to my husband about it, I really wanted to play one more year," Wright said.
Along with the support of their parents, her teammates and coach Jeff Judkins, Wright knew she was making the right decision.
"My parents just wanted me to make sure I knew I was making a big step in my life," Wright said. "Coach Judkins was really happy about it. He actually told me to do it a long time ago, so he was more excited than my parents were."
The long distance romance not only ended up with a happy ending for Wright, but the change in her life has also made her a different person.
"It's made me a better person, I am not as mean and it has humbled me," she said. "I don't have to worry about the social scene anymore as I get to just go home."
Even with one stress removed, Wright does feel some pressure with the expectation to be a good wife.
"It's so hard, especially during basketball season where you want to go home and cook dinner or do those little things that a wife is supposed to do, but you are on the go all of the time and barely see my husband," Wright said.
Jennie Overdiek Keele - BYU
Senior guard Keele may have waited through a year and a half of dating before getting engaged, but she knew her now husband was worth the wait.
"We met in the December after he returned from his mission, and then we didn't get married for another year and a half," Keele said, whose husband Eddie plays on the BYU football team. "I wasn't pressured at all to get married, but I knew I wanted to marry him."
Keele and her husband are getting ready to celebrate their third wedding anniversary in April and never looked back on the decision to get married at such a young age.
"I guess in our culture at BYU, we get married younger," Keele said. "We knew that we wanted to get married and didn't want to put it off. Also, with football and basketball overlapping, we didn't want to put it off any more. Being married kind of balances everything because you stay out late and you're together and not worried about certain things."
The emotional side of life may be more balanced now for Keele, one of the drawbacks to being in a two-sport couple where both of them are on scholarship is that the purse strings are held pretty tightly at the end of each month.
"It's hard because with both of us playing, we can't go get jobs during the school year because we have commitments to our sports," Keele said. "We usually work in the summer and get by fine. We can't just buy things we want or eat out all of the time. We have to budget and be careful."
Just like the Phillips, Nash and Wright, married life has been a good change for Keele to experience.
"During basketball season it's hard because we travel a lot so we are apart a lot," Keele said. "It's tough to focus on someone else and you can't be selfish all of the time. You have to make the other person a priority. He plays football so he is practicing all of the time, but when we are both home, we are tired, so we have to make it a priority to see each other and make the other one happy. It's not really challenging though, it's more fun."