March 14, 2008

The Greatest Year EVER ...

Ok so initially I was going to discuss the reasons why I think San Diego is the greatest city in the country with substantial evidence to support every claim I made. I have a lot of friends on the east coast who have this crazy idea that the entire left side of the country doesn’t exist, or isn’t important (I know! Crazy right?) For all of us who have the great privilege and luxury of living in this beautiful state, and for the even more fortunate ones who can call Southern California home, it has to be redundant to hear me talk about the many reasons why San Diego is so amazing …

So I decided to instead go into detail about what a wonderful senior year I’m having! (I don’t want to start any controversy and have it turn into catastrophic warfare.)

I got the most touching letter from Susan King Borchardt a few days ago, and it made me start thinking about the last four years of my life at Stanford. She said that no matter how old I got, I would always be “her freshman”. It seems like yesterday Susan and I were racing each other around the track or playing in the sweet 16 against Connecticut. The crazy part is, when I was a freshman I never thought about what it would feel like to be a senior. It’s something that you aren’t able to fathom until the moment arrives, and for me this feeling has made me cherish every single moment of every day with my teammates and coaches.

This year has been so special, and from the very beginning of the year I saw something in my teammates that I hadn’t seen in my four years at Stanford: Youth. I, at the time a 20 year old, was the second oldest player on the team! The youthful energy of my teammates just took over the team in a really good way, and when you carry that type of fearless mentality around, you meet no challenge that you cannot face. And I believe that is what has made our team so successful this year. I just want to take time to reflect on a few moments in games that have really made this year stand out…

This was a very special win and experience for the team. Although it was early in the season, we knew we had a lot to prove to the rest of the world and we did. And Kayla made herself a household name in the process! This definitely was what jump-started our season and let us know that this team had something in them.

No one really talks about this game, but seriously this might have been the most exciting win of the season! We were down like six points with under a minute left and came back in two overtimes and won. This game completely belonged to Mel. She gets a steal, converts on a pull up to get us within two, and then after they make one of two free throws she has the ball to run a three-point play for me. When I wasn’t open she took matters in her own hands and shot the three and it went in!!! We go into overtime. It also happened to be her first made three-pointer of her career, which makes me so incredibly proud. Unfortunately she has been out since the Virgin Islands with an ACL tear, but its clear that Mel has made a lasting impact on the season with her heroic antics in Utah.

Another game that doesn’t get discussed, but was soooooo fun! First, it was really cool for me and Jayne to play against Dawn Staley, who coached us this summer and is someone I look up to in so many ways. The game didn’t feel like it was too out of control, and we always kind of felt like we were fine. We were down, but it didn’t feel like that much. Until I look up at the scoreboard after they score and it shows we’re down 19!!! We go into halftime with a 17-point deficit. The amazing thing? Nobody panicked. Nobody was upset; the locker room at halftime was filled with encouragement. We could have easily given up, felt overwhelmed at the probability of coming back, but we stuck together and we had so much trust that we were going to make it through together. The result? A 17-0 run to begin the second half, we ended up winning the game by nine. That was the day I realized that this is not some ordinary team. To me, that win in the Virgin Islands planted the seeds for this year, which has been nothing short of amazing.

Maybe I am getting older, but what I love most about this team is that they keep me young.

Thank you to my teammates, my wonderful coaches, and most importantly the fans!!!!!!!

Candice Wiggins


  1. This is typical Candice --giving so much credit to her teammates and coaches. It's also typical of this year's team -- so unselfish, so focused on the team rather than personal accomplishments, so caring and enthusiastic about each other.
    But I can't let praise of Candice pass without another observation. Whereas many male athletes thump their chests and swagger after a good play, Candice merely goes about her business or gives a big smile to her teammates. Sometimes, after a particularly impressive play, she jumps for joy, but that's what it is -- pure joy, an infectious enthusiasm that endears her to all of us.
    A devoted fan

  2. I completely agree. This shows how great of a person, and player Candice is. She is a perfect role model to all.

  3. I recently told an 8 year old player something that Tara said about Candice. The sign of a truly great player is how she elevates the level of play of her team mates. Candice -- you have been amazing. It has been such an incredible pleasure to watch the team this year. Go Card!

  4. Candice,I agree with what Tara said,"Candice is a great player,But she is even a better person!"You have made all Stanford fans proud,Breaking so many records.ILL SEE YOU AT THE NCAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Candice, I can't belive how well you guys did this year. we're really gonna miss you!! I am 9 years old and want to be just like you when i grow up!!
    do you still talk to brooke smith? I wish you good luck in the pros.
    Your biggest fan,
    Makena Lambert