Decision day has arrived for Casey Robson. But the questions remain.
Will he show up to Saturday’s Creighton-UNO women’s basketball game wearing Bluejay blue or Maverick red? Will he try a mix of both? Or will he go with neutral colors instead?
The Iowa State junior has been mulling over his options since the game was announced.
Robson’s fiancee, Sammy Jensen, is a senior point guard for Creighton while his younger sister, Madi, is a sophomore point guard for UNO.
“I don’t know what I’m going to wear, honestly,” he said.
That hasn’t stopped people from asking. The two players started asking on day one.
“The first thing we both did was text Casey, ‘So, what are you going to wear to the game?’ ” Madi said.
But she added that she’s told Casey his game-day apparel didn’t matter. “I told him, ‘It’s fine. I know, deep down, you really want me to win since I’m blood.’ ”
Born 18 months apart, the middle of the four Robson children have always been close.
“We were a grade apart in school. We used to like telling people we were twins,” Casey said. “We look similar enough as a boy and a girl that we can pull that off.”
When they were in the fifth and sixth grades, respectively, the Robsons joined the All-Iowa Attack basketball program, which was founded by Sammy’s father, Dickson Jensen.
Sammy was in the seventh grade at the time. She and Madi became friends.
“We would practice together because my dad coached both her team and my team,” Sammy said. “Madi and I knew each other and had a relationship before Casey and I did.”
Sammy grew up in Ames, Iowa. The Robsons came from Ankeny. Sammy and Casey attended Ballard High School in Huxley, which is located between their hometowns.
They began dating as upperclassmen.
“During his junior year, her senior year, they were talking to me about each other,” Madi said. “I kind of take credit for their awesome relationship.”
Casey admitted that his sister actually did play a role. “They actually kind of conspired to get us together.”
They hadn’t been dating long when Casey got a taste of what Saturday might be like. Ballard met Ankeny, where Madi was going to school, in a preseason exhibition game.
He wore neither team’s colors that day, yet still heard from classmates.
“I got some grief for sitting on the Ankeny side, but I had a lot of family there,” he said. “I was like, ‘Shoot, guys, you can’t fault me for sitting next to my grandma.’ ”
The announcement of the UNO-Creighton game came before Casey proposed to Sammy this summer in an elaborate surprise in which he enlisted the help of family members, including Madi.
“They did a good job of hiding it. I had no idea what was coming at all,” Sammy said. “It was a fun surprise.”
Their upcoming May wedding has changed Casey’s perspective on this weekend’s game.
“Now that we’ve gotten engaged, it’s not just girlfriend against sister. It’s soon-to-be wife versus sister,” he said. “It does kind of up the ante a little bit.”
Sammy, who started 24 games last season, likely won’t play against UNO after tearing an ACL during a late November tournament in California. The senior is rehabbing her knee in hope of playing again during her final season. She’ll eventually need surgery.
“I was pretty sad, obviously, when she got hurt,” Madi said. “The first thing I thought of was, ‘Would she be able to dance at her wedding?’ The game didn’t even come to mind.”
Casey said news of Sammy’s injury “broke my heart.”
“It still breaks my heart, because, selfishly, I still want to watch her play,” he said. “It’s her senior year. She was playing well. They have a very good team this year. I was bummed I couldn’t be there for her.”
Sammy is taking a positive approach to the injury.
“It’s disappointing, but I guess there are things worse in life than a hurt knee,” she said. “I’m still thankful for the opportunity that I’ve had for the last three years — even this year — to still be a part of this team and help them in any way that I can.”
Sammy came to Omaha while her older sister, Ally, was playing for the Bluejays. They spent two years together at Creighton. Madi came the season after Ally was done playing.
“It’s still been nice to, somewhat, have a sister in a sense in the same town as you — a little bit of family,” Sammy said. “We try to go to as many of each other’s games as possible and be with each other’s families as well.”
The two hang out even if Casey isn’t around.
“We’ll go get Starbucks. We’ll go to the mall. If we’re both in town, we go to church together. That’s really awesome,” Madi said. “When basketball starts, we see each other less.”
But they see plenty of Casey, who is often in Omaha twice a week during the season.
“Sometimes it’s pushing me to the limit because I’ve got school, too,” he said. “But I love watching both of them play, so I’m more than happy. I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else than watching them play.”