There are days when Hallice Cooke hits the wall.
He watches his teammates prepare for the upcoming season while he looks on, knowing his time hasn’t yet come. The time will come, he just needs to wait. Cooke will eventually be a contributor for Iowa State, but it’ll have to wait until next season when he becomes eligible.
Cooke, after spending one season at Oregon State, decided to transfer this past spring. He committed to the Cyclones in May and after sitting out per NCAA transfer rules this season, and he’ll have three years of remaining eligibility with the Cyclones beginning next season.
“Just talking about the camaraderie of the team and the direction the program was heading, this is a great time to be here,” Cooke said. “The fans are excited, it’s a great atmosphere. I mesh well with the team.”
Those are the reasons Cooke chose Iowa State. The Cyclones, meanwhile, picked up a versatile guard who averaged 8.2 points per game and shot 45.6 percent beyond the arc as a freshman last season.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound sophomore was working on adding weight and will continue to once healthy. Cooke decided to undergo surgery in both hips to repair cartilage tears that he’s been dealing with for some time.
He underwent one surgery in recent weeks and will have his other shoulder operated on in the coming weeks. The recovery for the surgeries is expected to be between six and eight months, so the waiting game will only get more difficult for Cooke. He won’t be on the scout team, but rather waiting for his time.
When he does hit that mental wall, Cooke knows where to turn. He talks with Abdel Nader and Jameel McKay, two transfers who will get on the court this season after sitting out during the Cyclones’ Sweet 16 run last spring.
“We talk about it all the time,” Cooke said. “They have the answer. They just keep me positive mentally and keep me motivated.”