When Ally Disterhoft was in fourth grade, she was the girl on the Iowa women’s basketball poster with a ball cradled in her arm, oversized shoes on her feet, dreaming about playing for the Hawkeyes.
The poster headline was “Dream Big.”
Disterhoft, now a junior at West High, made that dream a reality Monday night by verbally committing to the Hawkeyes.
“I knew I was taking a picture for an amazing program,” Disterhoft said of her 9-year-old self. “I never dreamed one day I’d be playing there.”
Disterhoft was fresh off leading the Women of Troy to a Class 4A championship this spring when the Iowa coaches told her they had a scholarship for her.
She already had offers from Iowa State, Drake, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Creighton, and was drawing interest from other Big Ten and Big 12 teams. But this was the offer she wanted.
“I love Iowa. I love the program. I love the coaching staff,” Disterhoft said. “I’m comfortable with the city, the players on the team. I made a decision Iowa was the place I should be.”
A 6-foot guard, Disterhoft averaged 16.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game this past season. She also had 57 steals and 42 blocked shots.
“She understood she needed her teammates and they needed her,” West High coach BJ Mayer said. “She was not one to force many shots. She just wanted to do whatever she could to help the team win.”
She wasn’t bothered by the fact Iowa held off on making an offer until the spring.
“I respect their process and the way they do things,” Disterhoft said. “I know the coaching staff really well. I trusted them. Everything ended up well. We’re both happy with it.”
Her mother, Missy Slockett Disterhoft, played at Drake with Iowa assistant coaches Jan Jensen and Jenni Fitzgerald. She has been going to Iowa camps and hanging around the program for much of her life.
“They just said they were 100 percent confident in offering me now,” Disterhoft said. “They were waiting for me to develop in a few ways. They were completely confident that’s when they wanted to do it.
“After talking with my family, Iowa is the place I want to be.”
Having just committed, Disterhoft is unsure of her role with the Hawkeyes. She shot 60 percent from the floor and 40 percent (29-of-71) from 3-point arc this past season.
The Press-Citizen Player of the Year plans to work on her game over the summer in the weight room and with her AAU team.
Disterhoft is the second member of the 2013 class for the Hawkeyes. Iowa received a commitment from 5-8 guard Alexa Kastanek from Lincoln Southeast, Neb.
Reach Ryan Suchomel at 339-7368 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball