How Hank Baskett Found Kendra Wilkinson's Ring

03/05/2009 at 12:00 PM EST

How Hank Baskett Found Kendra Wilkinson's Ring
Kendra Wilkinson and engagement ring
Chelsea Lauren/WireImage
It was a mission for which Hank Baskett was prepared to go undercover – to find an engagement ring for Kendra Wilkinson and not to tip her off about his impending proposal.

"I had to be sneaky about it because Kendra's a little inspector, always picking up clues," the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, who will wed the Girls Next Door star on June 27 at the Playboy Mansion, tells Celebuzz.com.

After choosing Bernie Robbins Fine Jewelers in New Jersey to design the ring, Baskett says he stopped by the store every day to select a concept for the sparkler.

And while Wilkinson, 23, had no clue what was headed her way – "I didn't even know he was proposing," she says – she somehow managed to ring up Baskett whenever he was in the store.

"Kendra would just happen to call me then," Baskett recalls. "Every time. I would be like, I'm getting my computer worked on, I'm at the shoe store. I made something up."

When Baskett brought home the finished product – a 2¼-carat princess-cut diamond mounted with 60 diamonds on 18-carat white gold – he stored it in his safe and was obsessed with keeping it spotless.

"I'd look at it every day before practice, then I'd clean it. I'd come home from practice and still clean it. No one else touched it, but I still cleaned it."

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