March 12, 2015

Forever Grateful

As my final year here at Stanford is coming to a close, I’ve gone through so many emotions in thinking about the past, present, and future. I am grateful for the past and for my time here as a student, athlete, teammate, sister, and friend. I appreciate the present, for there are not many more moments left here with the people I’ve spent the past four years of my life with. I am hopeful, nervous, and excited for the future, presenting itself as a new challenge and as something different. There is no doubt that I will miss my teammates. From my freshman to senior year, many things may have changed in the background, but the relationships and the friendships that develop never falter. I will carry them with me no matter where I go, and I know the same goes for the other seniors in my class.

The best way to express the way I feel is just to say thank you. Thank you to my friends and family back home for supporting me, encouraging me, and guiding me towards a path where success was attainable. Thank you to my mother for teaching me that grades were important, that I could do anything I put my mind to, and that work ethic and hard work are some of the most invaluable traits to have. Thank you to my father for helping me to fall in love with the game of basketball, for supporting my dreams, and enabling me to chase them. Thank you to my sister for making me want to be a person that you would want to look up to and be proud of. And thank you to my grandmother for sending me some of the best care packages a college student could ask for. Some of my happiest moments have derived from time spent with family when they come and support me during home games, the PAC-12 Tournament, and the NCAA Tournament. And if anyone knows me, the first place I go after we win a game is to the stands to see my family.

I also would like to thank all of my teammates, past and present. I remember my freshman experience and how the senior class (Nneka, Lindy, Grace, Sarah Boothe) took care of me, how nervous I was to start in my first game, and my first experience in the Final Four. I recall growing through ups and downs during my sophomore and junior years, and now almost finishing my final year here. Some days may have gone by slowly, but the years flew by. I hope that I was a good example to my teammates now and know that they will continue to do great things moving forward.

I’d like to thank the coaching staff and you guys reading this blog-the fans. I wouldn't have been as successful and would not have had the experience that I had today if it had not been for all the community support. Stanford fans are the greatest fans, and the fact that they care about us not only on the court but also as people and as individuals means the most.

And finally, I’d like to thank the game of basketball. I have loved you and I have played you since I was 5 years old. I’ve eaten, slept, watched, felt, and breathed you. You have been a partner to me in the biggest of ways. You’ve showed me the heartbreak of defeat and joy of coming out victorious. You’ve lifted my esteem and humbled me at the same time. And with you, I have made friendships that will last a lifetime, received an elite level of education, and found one of my biggest passions and a way to express myself. I hope to play you for as long as I can, and when I can’t anymore, I will always be around you, watching and listening. I will never take you for granted. I will forever be grateful.

— Amber

February 27, 2015

Drowsy Driving

Hi Fans!

I am sure that many of you think that the schoolwork that we do at Stanford is very complex and difficult given Stanford’s reputation as an academic institute. Well, you would not be wrong. Much of the schoolwork and projects that my teammates and I have to work on are time consuming and difficult.

However, every once in awhile we get the chance to do a project that is a little more on the fun side. Well, recently for our Sleep and Dreams class, Bonnie and I had the chance to film a short video that is meant to teach people about the prevalent issue of Drowsy Driving.

As you know, Bonnie and I can get a little goofy when placed together in front of a camera so we definitely had fun with this one. Even still, we think it is an issue worth sharing with everyone in the hopes that people are more aware about how dangerous it is to drive while drowsy.

So, if you fans are ever so inclined to learn a little bit about Drowsy Driving or just want to see Bonnie and I make fools of ourselves, feel free to check out the video.

Go Card!!
— Erica

February 25, 2015

New friends

Coming to Stanford was one of the scariest things I’d ever done. Not because I was going to college or leaving home for the first time—every college student has to go through that process—but because I was leaving my twin sister, Jordan, for the first time in my life. I was so nervous to not have my best friend by my side the first day I arrived to campus with my Dad. How was I going to make friends without her?

That's when I met my teammates.

Upon arriving to campus I had been texting with the other freshmen, Kaylee and Taylor. We all were worried about what to pack, what classes to take, what we should wear on the first day and so many other things that seem trivial now.

When I finally met them on campus though it was like I already had 2 friends. Then, once we started summer workouts I began to make friends with the whole team- 14 automatic friends.

As time passed though, I began to see my teammates as not only friends but sisters too. Every day we are together, sharing our ups and downs. When someone succeeds we all get happy for them, and when someone is down everyone is there to support them.

When I found out I had a stress fracture in my foot in October I was devastated, but my teammates were there to help me. Many of them even had gone through a similar experience and were there to offer advice. I can’t even imagine what I would have done without them!

So although I know no one could replace Jordan, my teammates have come pretty close and have made the adjustment to college easier then I could have imagined.

Brittany Anne MPchee

February 12, 2015

Trip to Arizona

This past weekend we made a trip to sunny Arizona to play Arizona State University and University of Arizona. Despite the fact it is in the middle of the winter, the temperature down here was in the 80’s! On the other hand, my home in New Jersey is experiencing temperatures below freezing and the area is under a foot of snow.

One of my favorite parts about traveling with the team is that I get the opportunity to visit places I have never been before. Being from the East coast, I rarely traveled to the other side of the country. This would mark my second time being in the American southwest, New Mexico being the first.

During this trip, I was very happy to see some of my family whom I have not been able to see since they moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Erica Payne and Bird also had support at the games from their families and friends. I am very thankful to have family that supports me in my endeavors wherever they take me in the United States.

Now that it is February, we are headed into the end of our regular Pac12 season and are approaching the tournament. It is amazing to think that I am more than half way done with my first season as a member of this team.

I never thought that I could love playing with a group of girls more than I do now. We have been working very hard everyday to get better, and off the court we have become best friends. Playing with my teammates has been a lot of fun this year and I am excited for what waits in the future. Lets Go Card!

— Taylor Rooks

February 7, 2015

Petition for team puppy!

FBC, we need your help! Even though this is a completely unfeasible request, SWBB feels as though we need a puppy. I mean who doesn't love a cute, snuggly puppy?! We all know how much Tara loves dogs, so I think we could even get her on board.

I have a black cockapoo at home named Blitz. He is the most hilarious character, and he adds pure bliss to my life. Erica Payne has a bulldog (Daisy) and a beagle (Vinny). KJ has a dog named Gunnar. Bon and Karlie have a golden retriever, Sami. Britt's dog just had puppies about a month ago. Needless to say, we love dogs. However, we haven't decided what kind we want as our team dog.

What do you think FBC? Personally, I want a miniature Bernidoodle. A few have requested a bulldog. I have heard labradoodle, pom-sky (pomeranian & husky), chocolate lab; you name it. But we are definitely open to suggestions, which is why we need your help!

Please post your suggestions, and I will keep working on the logistics! ;)

— Taylor Greenfield

February 4, 2015

Coffee club is still alive!

For those of you who don’t know, and a recap for those of you who do, coffee club was created by Mikaela Ruef and Sara James.

Every morning on away trips about forty-five minutes to an hour before breakfast, a group of us go on a grand adventure to various coffee shops along the west coast. By grand adventures I mean we walk for about fifteen minutes, tops.

The members of the coffee club are yours truly (Tess Picknell), Bird (Erica McCall), Smiley (John, the media guy), and Hana Potter (one of the managers).

The coffee club is a way to go outside and see a little bit of the city where we are staying, helping break up the routine of hotel, bus, gym, bus, hotel, food, sleep, wake up and do it again. The goal is to find unique coffee shops, the mom and pop shops that have original coffee that is to die for. Chain coffee shops are only used when those mom and pop shops cannot be found.

So far this year, the coffee selection has been great. When we went to Hawaii we found a place that had a honey macadamia nut latte. In Chattanooga there was a place that had a lavender honey latte. In Tennessee the closest coffee shop was a combination between a coffee shop and a chocolate shop, so I bought way too many chocolate covered cherries (they were amazing!!).

But my favorite is the Washington trip, which is by far the best because the coffee shop in Spokane that we went to had a scrabble board, so we had great coffee while playing scrabble together. Then there is Seattle, which is probably the greatest coffee club trip because the hotel is within walking distance of Pike’s Place Market. We got to walk through it in the morning, and watch all the vendors putting up their wares. Pikes Place Market is also home to the original Starbucks (it’s the original so we make an exception) and this little stall that sells literally some of the best donut holes in existence, and I don’t say that lightly.

So coffee club is going strong, and I hope that I will be able to convince a couple more of the girls to join, They like their sleep in the morning, but I think I can do it.

— Tess

January 30, 2015

L.A. Trip

We had a really special trip down to Los Angeles this past weekend.

Not only did we win both games against UCLA and USC but a lot of our team got to see their families! The weather was beautiful, almost 75 degrees and sunny, in the end of January!

Bird’s family came to the games from Bakersfield, the Samuelsons from Huntington Beach, the Robersons from Fullerton, and the Paynes traveled down with us from the Bay Area.

The best part, besides seeing all the adoring families, was that the adoring families came bearing goods! We got goodie bags full of our favorite treats from Bird’s sweet family and while we were starving at the airport waiting to go back to Stanford, Bri’s aunt surprised us all with burgers and fries for everyone!

We are so lucky to have such amazing families and support from home, love seeing everyone on the road!

— Kailee Johnson

January 14, 2015

I Love my Team

As it is now January, we are right in the middle of our season and starting our journey through the Pac-12 Conference. Being months into the season, my teammates and I spend a lot of time together. I am currently writing this on our bus ride to play at Washington State, and it makes me think how lucky I am to be surrounded by such an amazing group of girls. Every individual on this team is both an incredible player and person. I never thought that I could have 14 best friends that are all so different from each other. The personalities on this team span an extremely wide range and it is interesting to see how well we all get along, despite our differences. And despite the amount of time we spend together!

This preseason has been a great example of how close our team is. So far, this season has been a rollercoaster ride of both success and losses. However, no matter the outcome of a game, our team stays the same: united and determined to improve.

Every player on this team brings different aspects both to the game and to life with their personalities and talents. Here is a poem of different things that everyone does or likes to do:

E, Brit, Bon, Tess reading books.
Jigsaw puzzle, that’s for Rooks.
A game is on? There’s Bam, Bri, Li.
Good song is on? Dancing is Jas and Birdie.
Your lips are chapped? Just ask Kai.
She needs her chapstick, or she’ll die.
Taylor’s doing abs and glutes.
While Lex is storing her favorite fruits.
Kayl likes to play “what are the odds”
And I’m writing a poem for this blog.
There’s 15 of us on this team.
Change a single person, I wouldn’t dream.

— Karlie

January 12, 2015

47: The Number of the Universe

47 IS a magical number. Bonnie discovered the awe inspiring number at the beginning of her freshman summer in high school and ever since it has attracted a large group of believers in its amazing and lucky powers. It constantly appears when you are least looking for it; it seems to occur more frequently in nature than any other number. 47 is the quintessential random number of the universe. It has become an occasion for joy and excitement whenever 47 is spotted.

The uniqueness of 47 is explained in the following manner by Bonnie: “Say you’re receiving your order number at a restaurant: #47; you’re parking in a numbered spot in a parking lot: #47; looking up at the score of a basketball game: 47 to 47; and even watching a movie in which the secret warehouse that contains the key to success is, guess, what, #47! It’s literally everywhere you look.”

List of occurrences:

Bonnie’s first practice jersey in high school was #47

Graffiti on the wall in Italy had, you betcha, a huge #47

Bonnie’s total price for gas every time her tank is empty (literally): $47

Teacher talking in class about hard numbers to take square root of: #47

Quoted in Gone Girl: “your credit card debt is $47,000”

An entire episode of Alcatraz (show now discontinued) was devoted to a sniper who muttered “number 47” under his breath at all times

Bonnie’s dad receiving order #47 at restaurant the day that her team won CIF championship

Mission Impossible 3: Tom Cruise searching for train car #47

Bonnie and her sisters went bowling and the score was 41 to 47

We watched a movie called “47 Ronin”

And the best occurrence of all: At the end of the Uconn game this year during a full media timeout, the clock was stopped at 47 seconds. I told Erica Payne that 47 is a great sign and that if we go into overtime, we will win this game. And hey, guess what? The magic worked! In another great turn of events, our team also happened to break Uconn’s 47 game winning streak that fateful day. It was clearly meant to be. This was the moment when most of the people on our team finally believed in the magic of 47.

So the next time you see a random 47, know that it is magic and that it will bring you luck.

— Alex, with contributions from Bonnie

December 30, 2014

The summer of a basketball junkie

They call me a "basketball junkie” and I’m proud of it! I absolutely love the game of basketball, and this summer, I watched, played, and taught the game.   

I love men’s and women’s professional basketball. This summer I spent much of my time watching professional basketball. My favorite player is Damian Lillard.  He is an explosive point guard who has uncanny abilities — he can both make plays and be a "clutch" player. During a recent interview, Lillard said something that was very noteworthy to me.  He said, "I think we just need to take the summer... take pride in going home and improving... coming back better players and holding ourselves accountable to help the team to be a little better."

In addition to watching professional basketball this summer, I spent a lot of time in the gym working on the essentials: ball-handling, passing, and shooting.  My teammates and I played pick-up just about every other day and we WENT AT IT!  Every game was competitive and gritty. Sometimes basketball players from the University of Santa Clara and University of San Diego joined us too. Further, my teammate Bird (Erica McCall) and I were able to play in the San Francisco Pro-Am Summer League at Kezar Pavillion. We enjoyed playing against outstanding players in women's college basketball. 

Finally, I taught basketball. I was fortunate enough to be invited to make a guest appearance at the Torch Basketball Academy Summer Camp. It was awesome!  I worked with the kids and helped develop their fundamentals. I told them how important it is to "work smart" as much as you "work hard.” But, don’t be fooled, some of those kids could ball!  When I was coaching a team during the final tournament game of the camp, I thought,  “these games are just as competitive and gritty as our pick-up games!” Young players were chasing loose balls and fighting for every rebound too!  It was great. I really enjoyed watching players develop!

This summer was great and I'm really looking forward to next summer. 

— Bri Roberson