December 14, 2010

Grace absolutely loves Christmas

Well, It’s the most wonderful time of the year (at least until March Madness)!!!!

I am writing to you all with finals FINALLY behind us! We are so excited for our upcoming road trip first to Chicago and then down to Knoxville. Our team seems to really enjoy the holiday season (how could you not?!) so I thought I would talk a little bit about what we have been up to since the holiday season began…

I absolutely love Christmas. I love Christmas movies, music, books, and even, clothing. Since I was young Christmas has easily been my favorite time of year and I always look forward to it greatly. I think a lot of my teammates share in this love for Christmas. However, the difference between my love and theirs is “the Mashore family Christmas rule”. “Papa Mashore” or “papa mash” as some of our team (especially Mel) jokingly call my father, has had a rule in our family that we are not allowed to listen to Christmas songs, watch Christmas movies, or buy Christmas gifts until AFTER Thanksgiving. He is an equal opportunity holiday celebrator. I have carried this tradition along with me to the Farm and obnoxiously (to the team’s dismay) refused to partake in anything Christmas oriented until after Thanksgiving. I must admit I was getting anxious to partake in the Christmas cheer so I was very excited when Thanksgiving came! On Thanksgiving day we had a great practice and then a great meal with the team at Jimmy Vs. Having Thanksgiving dinner as a team is nice because we get to collectively take a moment and step outside ourselves a bit and think about the things in life we are truly so fortunate to have and are grateful for.

In that same vein, recently we have been able to be apart of some pretty cool things within our local community. Last Saturday we helped serve and prepare a meal for homeless at St. Anthony’s Church. Our team had a great time, we split up our time in small groups doing different tasks in terms of preparing the meal and then we helped serve and accommodate the guests. I met some really great people, some of whom said they were big fans of our team (bonus points!). In addition, a small group of us went to Children’s hospital here at Stanford and spent a couple hours volunteering and playing with the kids in the hospital. I think both of those experiences were fun, and eye opening and I know as a team we look forward to many more opportunities like the ones we’ve had recently to really interact with the community and make small differences wherever we can.

Regardless of what you celebrate, I hope you all have a great holiday season, and you get to watch some GREAT basketball!!!

Go Card!


November 25, 2010

Why 3 really is the magic number…

I have decided to write my blog this year about my favorite number in the entire world. I hope that by explaining why I love the number so much, I will help you understand my infatuation with the number 3, and hopefully find a small place in your heart for my favorite number.

It all started when I was in 2nd grade after I made the 3rd grade select basketball team. I remember the day as if it were yesterday. Now back in the day, we didn’t buy brand new jerseys every year, instead we picked out jerseys that were our size, and then we returned them at the end of the year to be reused. At the time, since my birthday is October 20th, my favorite number was 20, so naturally I wanted to be 20 and I fully intended on getting the #20 jersey. When it was my turn to choose I saw the #20 jersey but it had some rips in it, and the seams were coming undone from use over the years. The rips in the jersey were miniscule and nothing my mom couldn’t sew up very quick, but I didn’t want a beat up old jersey to play in on my very first select basketball team, so on a whim I opted for a much newer looking jersey without any rips or flaws. It just so happened that this jersey was the #3 jersey. Little did I know at the time, but that was the beginning of my obsession with 3. After that day I started seeing signs in my life that made feel fall deeper and deeper in love with the number.

The first thing I remember was watching schoolhouse rock in school. We watched the one about numbers, and when they got to 3, they sang a song called “3 is the magic number”. Now I listen to the song on repeat on my ipod and think about everything that has to do with this magic number. I feel it’s best just to list everything that I have thought about after years of listening to the song. These are random things I think about and yes; I know I am a huge weirdo (Notice: I’ve made a list of 12 which of course is 3 multiplied by 4).
  • We live in a 3D world
  • It take 3 points to make a plane (in geometry)
  • There are 3 vague time periods that people refer to (past, present, future)
  • In fairy tales characters always get 3 wishes
  • There are lots of religious things that have to do with the number including but not limited to the holy trinity, and the fact that Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days.
  • It takes 3 legs to make a table stand.
  • 2 is just a couple, but 3 is something completely different, 3 is a few.
  • 3 people make a family (a mom, a dad, and a baby).
  • The 3rd time is the charm.
  • You get 3 strikes before you’re out (and 3 outs per inning)
  • There are 3 children in my family
  • And last but certainly not least, our preseason ranking this year was 3

My teammates may call me weird for doing things in 3’s. They think it’s crazy that I count out the food I eat into groups of 3. They call me obsessive compulsive when I have to get up from the table to get another strawberry after someone eats one and throws off my numbers. They get annoyed when I insist on taking the 3rd seat (or a multiple of 3) when choosing a place to sit anywhere we go. They laugh at me when they see me park my bike in the 3rd spot of any bike rack I come across. They mock me when they hear me rationalize any of the stupid things I do because it involves #3.

I’m not obsessed with it, and I don’t have to do things in 3’s, I choose to. The number is a part of me, which is why I have chosen to wear #3 throughout my entire basketball career. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our preseason ranking is 3; it’s a sign that this is our year to win Stanford's 3rd national championship.


November 15, 2010

What Sara has learned at Stanford

I can't believe how fast these months have gone! I feel like it was just yesterday I was supposed to be signing that NLI (National Letter of Intent). From Toni and I going to Stanford camp before both our Junior and Senior years, to summer school, to moving in to dorms, to preseason, to now our first real game!

This is what we have been waiting for! But still, through all the stressful times trying to get to class or trying to keep up with practice at the beginning of the year, I am still in awe of this amazing place. I felt like I was in a dream running out on the court for the first time in the Vanguard game. Every step will be new experience for us freshman, but we are enjoying every minute of it. As Tara said to the three of us before the first game, "Never let the excitement of putting on that Stanford jersey go away."

These past few months at Stanford have been great, despite the many bike incidents I have had. Having the whole summer here to bond and play with the team was a huge key to our development as freshman.

But here are a few things I have learned so far:

  1. Don't lock only the wheel of your bike to the bike rack. You will come out of class with only a wheel.

  2. Jimmy V's is delicious.

  3. Keep an eye on your phone at all times. Do not expect people to return it.

  4. While riding your bike through intersections on campus, do not turn your head one direction for a long period of time. Someone is most likely coming from the other direction.

  5. Receiving mail has the power to make your day twice as good.

  6. Jimmy V's is delicious.

  7. Brunch in the dorms on the weekends is tasty as well.

  8. The Stanford Band is crazy, but awesome.

  9. And, our fans are the best!

See you at the games!

November 10, 2010

Lauren looks GOOD in RED

From Running Sprints to Timing Sprints
My Transition from Playing to Coaching

Wow, has my life has changed in the last five months. I went from playing my final collegiate basketball game at that school across the Bay (that would be Cal) to beginning my coaching internship at the very team that used to give us match-up nightmares!

Coaching has always been a career path that I envisioned for myself. I am passionate about basketball and love being part of a university. I have always played the game as if I were coaching – knowing how many fouls we have to give, who their worst free throw shooter is if we have to foul, etc – and I have a lot of ideas about game strategy and options. So why not coach and share my ideas with players who have to listen!!! (Just joking.)

So, as my final months of college passed by, I started looking for opportunities that would move me toward coaching. When Coach Tara offered me the opportunity to be part of the Cardinal team I was thrilled but I have to admit I also was a little nervous. Not only is she an amazing coach with national and world titles and a winning percentage to die for, but I would be jumping across the Bay to my “rival” school. I am proud to have graduated from Berkeley, had some amazing times playing there, and really appreciated the fan support. While I didn’t want to appear disloyal, I realized how amazing an opportunity it would be to learn from Tara and the whole coaching staff here. So, I started planning my move to Stanford.

And I couldn’t be happier with my decision – I am truly enjoying my time on the farm and learning a lot! Each of the coaches, players, and the fans that I have met so far has welcomed me into the Cardinal community with open arms, and that has been great. I have taken on many projects from working with Kate on recruiting mail-outs, to drawing up plays with Bobbie, to discussing coaching philosophies with Amy, to diagramming every LA Lakers' play with Tara. I have also learned more about computers, video, and all the 10,000 possible cords that might accompany each item from Miss Technology Sarah Boruta.

So, while it has been only two months since I officially moved to Palo Alto, it certainly feels like home – just with much better weather (from across the Bay and from home in Oregon). I have settled into a routine at the office and at my apartment, which I share with two Stanford graduate students. I even got them to come to our first exhibition game against Vanguard, which was their first women’s basketball game ever! And speaking of games, I can’t wait for the regular season to start and games to get tough. And while it is still hard for me to be watching our women play instead of playing myself, I have noticed, not surprisingly, that it has been quite easy for me to leave behind conditioning workouts and all those sprints!! Thank goodness that is over!

And for everyone wondering how it feels to be wearing red, I will just say that the high school I attended in Portland, Oregon was the Lincoln Cardinals (the bird) and our colors were red and white – so really I am just going back to my roots and getting another chance to wear all the red that was hiding in my closet for the last 4 years. And let’s be honest, I look GOOD in RED!

Lauren Greif

November 1, 2010

So eager to start!

Hi Cardinal Fans!

I hope you all had a great summer and are excited for the season to start!! I spent my summer back home in Maine, which was awesome. I rarely get to go home during the school year, so I try and take advantage of my time during the summer and spend as much time at home as possible. And summer in Maine is BEAUTIFUL! I always love spending time with my mom, and we took my sister down to school in Connecticut (don’t worry, not UConn. She’s a freshman at Connecticut College. Go Camels!). I also got the opportunity to practice with my brother’s high school basketball team for a few weeks, which was really fun. It was fun to be able to play with him, and it was also a great way to get ready for the season.

We are one week away from our first exhibition game, and the entire team can’t wait to get back on the court and play against another team instead of each other like we have been doing during the past few weeks of practice. All of us worked incredibly hard during the offseason, and practices started earlier this year, which gave us all a chance to get on the court earlier and get familiar with our plays and get our freshman up to speed. Chiney, Sara, and Toni have been doing a great job these past few weeks. They have really blended well with the returners, and they all bring something a little different to the team. I am so eager for our games to start, and start moving towards our goal of winning a National Championship. There would be no better way to end my senior year See you all in the stands!

Go Card!

March 24, 2010

Tournament Time

Ah, the smell of March Madness. This time of year reminds me of watching the games with my dad when I was little and hearing the screams of my brother from upstairs when the buzzer beater would fall to create a huge upset game. It is crazy to think that some other little girl is now watching our team in the tournament with her dad, wishing that someday that could be her on the court fighting for a national championship.

Our team has come so far this year. We have dealt with injuries, battles on the court and a hard schedule. In my eyes though, we have thrived in this madness. We have never backed down from a challenge. This became really apparent to me when we came back from Christmas break after playing the team that shall not be named, and went into a slump for about a month. Our team was faced with the chance to either continue on that downward slump or rise up above it and start to build our energy towards the tournament. We clearly chose the latter. Our team changed our energy, and changed our focus to Stanford Basketball. What we can do, and what we can accomplish rather than the other team. To me, we are peaking at just the right time with this new energy and focus: Tournament Time.

The last part of the season is when the team is the closest in all aspects. Everyone is fighting for one more game, one more practice, and yes one more bike workout. It is scary to think that every game we play now may be the last time the 2009-2010 team puts on a Stanford jersey and all that it represents before the game. That thought only encourages us more to get on the floor, be scrappy, do whatever it takes to advance. Because just as I was told when I was a little girl watching on TV, as I am now a woman playing on the TV, you must SURVIVE TO ADVANCE.


March 15, 2010

March Madness!!

Hey Card Nation,

It is that time in the year…March Madness!! Since I was young, my family and friends have had an avid interest in all the exciting games and teams that emerge during this month. In middle school and high school my eyes stayed glued to the TV listening to analysts, looking at brackets and watching all the madness unfold. Last year our team was able to partake in all of the fun, and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. While last year’s team was special and unique and we had a great season, the feeling this year is a little different.

This year, as most of you know, we were fortunate to start our season earlier then usual with a wonderful trip to Italy. Once back on campus we already felt bonded and ready for a great season, the addition of our two freshmen just made our team that much better. Through grueling pre season workouts, tedious practices, lengthy road trips, and extreme dedication and commitment our team knows we’re ready for all of the challenges ahead in March. This team does everything with and for each other, and we believe deeply in one another. We’re all so excited for what lies ahead and we know with all your great support, one day at a time, we can continue working hard to reach our goals.

See you in the stands, let’s go Card!!


March 6, 2010

The Sandra Bullock of Stanford women's basketball

Great teams (aka. Stanford) are teams with great role players. Some of those role players have the job of going into the games and scoring the big points, grabbing the big rebounds, or stopping the top player on the other team. Other role players may just need to make that extra pass, get that single steal, or just give another player a quick breather.

This year, however, my role does not include any of these. My role, I would like to say, is comparable to that of an actress. I would like to think of myself as the Sandra Bullock of the Stanford women’s basketball team.

Like Sandra Bullock, I must take on a variety of roles. I must “act” like a member of the opposing team. For instance, when we played and beat Tennessee I had to take on the role of Kelly Cain. The week preceding the game, I was given my script (scouting report) in which I then had to learn my lines (Kelly Cain’s post moves and Tennessee’s offense). Then during practice (rehearsal) I had to execute the script.

Like Sandra Bullock, some roles are easier to execute than others, some are more convincing than others, and in some I must take on the role of two people at one time. For example, in preparation for the Oregon game, I took on the role of both Nicole Canepa and Victoria Kenyon. In the post I was Canepa, but on the perimeter I was Kenyon.

Hopefully all these performances will earn the team an Academy Award or, in basketball terms, a National Championship.


March 2, 2010

What makes Mel ... Mel

In my past three Stanford blogs I have done a great job at making them extremely ME oriented. I have taken you wonderful fans on a journey of my life that consisted of not only words, but video too. In my final entry I would like to take you behind the scenes and show you what makes Mel…well, Mel. In this entry I can’t think of anyone or anything that makes me more of who I am than my parents.

For all of you who were at senior day for our final home game and was able to meet my mother, may have picked up on the fact that we talk exactly alike. I honestly was not aware of this fact until afterwards when my teammates told me that if they closed their eyes it sounded like me telling a story about myself. My mom has always been there for me. I can remember her teaching me to ride a bike when I was four-years-old and comforting me when I thought the adults in the park were laughing at me and not with me. She also taught me how to dribble a basketball in our very own kitchen (something I later learned most mothers wouldn’t allow) and would constantly play me one on one in the backyard.

Speaking of the backyard, the backyard was a place where my dad would rebound hundreds and thousands of lay-ups. He taught me to hit the top of the square, the correct footwork, and made me use my left hand on the left side. I learned to love the lay-up and I truly believe that because of my dad I am the driving point guard that I am today. I didn’t start off as a point guard though. Although I despise post players, in my beginning years I enjoyed blocking shots at the center position. Thankfully my dad got me to give up that position, informing me that great players wanted the ball and where I really wanted to be was at the point guard spot. Thank the lord for that; Stanford would really struggle if they had me as their 5’8 center hahaha.

Although basketball grew to be a large part of my life, my parents always supported me in anything that I wanted to try. And believe me I tried everything. I did tae-kwon-do, soccer, ballet, runway modeling, singing, swim lessons, gymnastics, tap dancing, fishing, I pretty much wanted to try anything that looked cool on TV. I was also interested in money at a very young age so my dad took me to an investment seminar that lasted for hours but it was something that I truly enjoyed.

All in all I want to thank both of my parents Rochelle and Joseph Murphy (my mom would kill me if I didn’t mention them by name haha) for doing all that they possibly could to make me the person I am today. I am extremely grateful. I would also like to give my sister a special shout out for always being someone who could relate to me on a kid level. Thanks for sparring with me even though you never took tae-kwon-do, thanks for playing me one on one in our mini hoop in the kitchen.

P.S. another thanks to the TV personalities in which I get my sense of humor as well as other personalities

- Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, Elaine Benes, Cosmo Kramer, Doug Heffernan, TJ Detweiler, Ashley Spinelli, Francis “the Hustler kid”, Bart Simpson, Brain – from Pinky and the Brain, Katt Williams, Stewey Griffin …..if I forgot anybody I’m sorry.


February 16, 2010

What everybody does on bus rides

When I was in the beginning stages of this blog entry, I was having a lot of trouble figuring out what to write about. In my writer’s block, I looked around the bus (we were headed to Pullman from Spokane), desperate to find someone to give me a good idea.

From my spot on the left side, third row from the back of the bus, I have Jayne and Jeanette to my right, Mel and Kayla behind me, Hannah immediately in front, and Ros diagonal.

I glance into the front seat and Hannah rocking out to Jack Johnson (or love songs that make her think of me, so she says…), attentively reading “Sustainable Fossil Fuels,” a book for her Earth Systems 101 class. I tap her on the shoulder and pose my question. Her response? “Figure out what each person’s animal spirit is and write about that!” Thanks, Hannah, but I think I’ll leave that one for you.

I look diagonally at Ros. She appears to be napping, but her music is deafening, telling everyone in a 5-foot radius what she is listening to. If you ever forget your headphones, just sit near Ros and hope that she is listening to something you want to listen to. Every once in a while she will peek around, looking for someone to give her attention. I give her a wink and go back to my blog.

Continuing with the trend, I keep looking to the front of the bus for someone to give me an idea. Grace, as always, is on her phone, “listening to music,” so she claims. She could be lip-syncing to some song, or quietly talking on the phone, and you would never know the difference. In case it’s the latter, I keep up with my search.

The next few rows prove futile, as Ashley, Lindy, Nneka, Michelle and Boothe all appear to be either sleeping or deep in thought, gazing at the beautiful foothills of Spokane/Pullman (clearly that was a joke).

The freshmen are being freshmen, skyping with each other as they sit across the row. Every once in a while we get a bus with wireless internet, and thanks to the wonders of built-in video chatting capabilities (didn’t have that when I was their age!), they are having some conversation that they could easily have if they just turn their heads 90 degrees.

The staff and coaches are at the front of the bus (they clearly never got the memo that the cool kids sit in the back!) They are watching video, trying to pick up on any last-minute details they haven’t caught in the previous 27 viewings of the same video. Hand it to them though, we are always very, VERY prepared for each team that we play.

I feel a little nervous asking Amy for a blog topic, as she would probably tell me that I should have written it two weeks in advance, instead of the day it was due. “Better to be 10 minutes early than 1 minute late!"

Devan would probably just suggest something about researching new weight lifting techniques. That man is always reading about the newest anything related to strength and conditioning. It makes it a little tough to challenge him, as he can just show you some paper by the top expert and say, “Do it, ya jackal!”

I suddenly realize that I didn’t even ask the people immediately next to me. Mel and Kayla are either napping or listening to music, or multitasking and doing both, so I look over at Jayne and Jeanette. Both have their headphones in, with Jeanette sprawled out taking a power nap and Jayne on her computer, pink nails rapidly typing on the keyboard.

“Jayne!” I yell at her over the music coming from her iPod. She takes out her ear bud, annoyed, giving me her half-divided attention. More than likely she was listening to The Ting Tings “That’s Not My Name,” because in the song it says her name, and she’ll respond, “that is my name!”. I ask her for her opinion on what to write my blog entry on. “Why don’t you just write about what everybody does on bus rides?” Great idea!


February 10, 2010

What does it mean to put on the Stanford uniform?

The answer to this question rang loud and clear this past weekend as the Stanford women’s basketball program celebrated the 20 year anniversary of the 1990 National Championship team; the program’s first in Stanford’s history.

Of course all of us current players have given thought to this question, understanding that high expectations are the norm when it comes to being a member of this team. But sometimes it seems we become complacent to the persona that is exemplified when we wear this particular jersey. It goes beyond the name, the records, and the trophies--it embodies a dream, and we were fortunate enough to share that with the players and staff that turned that dream into a reality.

This past Saturday evening, a special banquet was organized to commemorate the players and staff of the 1990 championship team and the success they achieved. It was a joy to listen to the memories these players had shared together such as running the infamous 2 mile test, crashing their bikes while riding around campus, and uttering a few laughs over the “in” hairstyles of the time. It was a humbling experience to more fully realize that these players, who many of us have idolized while growing up, were just like us.

However, during that time, the name on the jersey wasn’t quite the bulls-eye that it is for us today; but it didn’t take long for that to change. “I want you to see my vision…..we will have sell out crowds in Maples, and win the National Championship by your senior year.” These were the words coach Tara expressed to then freshman guard Jennifer Azzi, and just like that, the dream was born.

Taking hard work, sportsmanship, and excellence to a whole new level, this group of young women brought to life the dream of becoming a champion, and set the standard for what it meant to “put on” the Stanford uniform. It started as a dream, and as the success accumulated, it grew into an expectation—one that has produced not only championship players, but championship people.

We now wear the Stanford uniform with pride and dignity as we strive to follow those who set the tone before us. Getting to wear the Stanford name on my jersey day in, and day out, has been a tremendous blessing. But even more than that, it has been a dream come true.


February 8, 2010

The Greatest Athlete

In honor of Roger Federer’s 16th major title at the Australian Open, I’ve decided to write my blog on why he is indubitably the greatest tennis player and even greatest athlete to have ever walked the Earth.

Proving that Roger is the greatest tennis player ever is a rather easy task. His stats are indisputable. He’s won 16 major titles, more than any man to ever play the game, and he still has a few more in him. He has completed the career grand slam (won all four majors throughout his career). He’s been ranked #1 in the world the most consecutive weeks, and the most total weeks. He’s been to 23 straight major semifinals, which is the longest streak by far. He has completely dominated the game of tennis for the past 5 years running. I know people might think there are certain tennis legends that were better than Roger in their day, but this statement is heinous. Rod Laver is a man who won 11 majors, back-to-back grand slams, and could have won more majors but he decided to turn pro and could no longer compete in the majors (the rules have since changed and pros play in the majors). Rod Laver was a formidable tennis player but the reason he wasn’t the best was because he didn’t have the same competition as Roger. In Laver’s day the good tennis players turned pro and didn’t compete with amateurs in the majors, so it was easy for Laver to dominate players with a lower caliber of talent. I’d be willing to bet that if pros were allowed to compete in the majors back in Laver’s day, there’s no way he would have won 2 consecutive grand slams, because he would have played much better competition. This unequivocally proves that Roger is better than Laver. Another argument for best tennis player ever is Pete Sampras, and I think since Roger has broken all of Pete’s records and was able to complete the career grand slam while Pete was unable to, it pretty much validates Roger's superiority.

Proving that Roger is the greatest athlete of all time is slightly harder only because comparing different sports can be a difficult thing to do. It wouldn’t be fair to compare team sports with individual sports because it’s harder to win individual titles than it is to win team titles. For example, I don’t think anyone would argue that Robert Horry is the greatest basketball player of all time or is even remotely close to the greatest, yet Horry has at least 4 and maybe even 5 NBA Championship rings which is infinitely more that Lebron James has and is more than some of the greatest players in the NBA’s history have. (In case anyone cares, I think Michael Jordan in the greatest player in NBA history.) This goes to show that in a team sport you don’t have to be great to win, you just have to be on a great team. So the greatest athlete of all time has to be someone who plays an individual sport. Now that that’s settled, the greatest individual athletes that I think are apart of the argument besides Roger Federer (obviously #1) are Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Michael Phelps. Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus play the same sport, so I must first decide who is better at their sport. Jack Nicklaus has more majors than Tiger, but I’m certain that Tiger will pass Jack up soonish and that leads me to presume that Tiger is or eventually will be the better golfer. So between Roger and Tiger, who is the better athlete? (And I guess what I mean by greatest athlete of all time is really most dominant athlete of all time.) Tiger has won many majors and will one day break Nicklaus’s record, but he hasn’t dominated golf as much as roger has dominated tennis. The 23 consecutive semifinal appearances that Roger has made in majors are equivalent to 23 top 5 finishes in majors in golf (in my mind at least). Now I don’t know for certain, but I’m pretty positive Tiger hasn’t had 23 consecutive top 5 finishes in majors. This fact rules him out for greatest athlete of all time, and for people who believe Nicklaus is better than Tiger, I don’t think Nicklaus did that either. Now, Michael Phelps, he won 8 gold medals in one Olympics, which is unheard of. The reason Roger is still a more dominant athlete than Phelps even though Roger only has 1 gold medal (doubles title in Beijing) is because what Roger has done is sustained greatness and what Michael Phelps did was a flash of greatness. Also, I feel like the greatest athlete of all time can’t be a swimmer cuz it’s not really a sport it’s just events. I think that Michael Phelps is a great athlete and what he did was amazing but I think what Roger continues to do is even more amazing but I can’t really express why in words I feel like it’s just a common sense thing. Michael Phelps had an amazing showing at one Olympics, and Roger has been doing it for such a long time. I think Michael Phelps could be in the question if he could win medals in his 5th or 6th Olympics (kind of like Dara Torres). Also perhaps Phelps could be in the running if he were to win a gold medal as a father, similar to how Roger just won his first major as a father at the Australian Open.

There are 2 more things that I need to quickly address in this last paragraph and then I’ll be done because I realize that this blog is becoming extremely long. First, why aren’t any women in the question for greatest athlete? Roger hasn’t won as many majors as Chris Evert or Martina Navratilova (both with 18), but I think he will pass them, possibly even this year. I think the reason I can’t say a woman is a better athlete than a man is because men and women are different and can’t be compared like that; men are stronger and faster than women so they have to be more athletic than women. I don’t know who is the greatest female athlete of all time, but I think the greatest female athlete of all time is just as impressive as the greatest athlete of all time. Finally, why is Roger Federer so important? I don’t think the world as a whole can really fathom how amazing Roger’s accomplishments truly are. I love Roger Federer not because of all of his accomplishments or the fact that he is extremely good looking (contrary to what some of my teammates might think), but because he is a hero for people all over the world. He has accomplished more than any other tennis player in the world and he doesn’t really have anymore records to chase and break, but he still trains as hard as he can everyday and is just as hungry to win as he was when he first started playing tennis. This is evident because last year when he lost the Australian Open to Raphael Nadal he cried because he worked so hard but couldn’t quite come through with the win (even though he already had 13 major titles). Roger is also a virtuous man. He has never been involved in any scandals in the media and from what I can tell he handles being a public icon incredibly well. Roger Federer lives the dream, he has a happy family with his wife and twin daughters, he loves his job and works hard at it day in and out, and he is a role model for people all over the world. Roger Federer is the greatest athlete of all time. (PERIOD)


January 29, 2010

Nail Polish!

Hello Friends!

The topic of my blog for this year is…. NAIL POLISH! As I talked about in my blog last year, getting your hair done and looking nice is one of the womanly habits that make us women feel good about ourselves. Getting your nails done fits perfectly into that category as well. Unfortunately for us basketball players, we don’t have all the time in the world to go have a day at the salon and get a nice mani and pedi. Although I must say, when we do have that occasional day off, the salon on the end of California Ave, “Central Nails”, does know most of our names and our favorite colors! They also cringe at first sight of our feet! Haha Just kidding…kind of.

Let me enlighten you…

Our team's recent nail polish craze has undoubtedly stemmed from one key person: Jeanette!!! Now I know what all of you are thinking… “but Jayne is the one that is known for wearing her bright pink nail polish during games!” Yes you are right! Jayne has had articles written and pictures taken about her cute nails and great fashion taste. But let me tell you a little about my friend Jeanette.

First, some background info: I’ll start with her lovely parents. Cindy and John Pohlen are in the salon equipment and baking business. Cindy bakes our team the most amazing treats we have ever tasted and John runs the family salon equipment business in Southern California. With that being said, Jeanette has grown up around salon stuff and has made some really useful family friends. One family friend happens to own nail polish company OPI. If you haven’t heard of them before, OPI has the BEST nail polish ever with over 300 colors or something ridiculous!!

So now that brings me to Jeanette’s personal collection of nail polish. With over 50 OPI colors of her own, Jeanette has dark colors, light colors, bright colors, neutral colors, etc. You name it; she probably has something pretty close to it. From “Pink-ing of You” to “No Room for the Blues” or “Paint my Moji-toes Red!”, she literally has a lot, and knows the names of all of them! Her collection doesn’t stop with colors though. Jeanette has nail strengtheners, ridge fillers, base coats, rapid dry top coats, cuticle oils, and of course nail polish removers. Jeanette is very loyal to her OPI friends and only wears their polish, which is the best so I don’t blame her.

Like I mentioned before, Jayne is normally the one noted for her pretty nails and the variety of her colors. But as you can probably guess by now, Jeanette has played a key part in Jayne’s nail repertoire. Jeanette has lived relatively unnoticed with her nail polish by the public. For us teammates however, we have enjoyed her sharing the creative names of the colors with us for the last couple of years. We have all known about her extensive collection and hobby for nail painting. We admire her beautifully painted nails on the regular, which she paints herself most of the time! But for the most part, the rest of us on the team have pretty much sat back and observed the painting and colors that Jayne and Jeanette go thru.

It wasn’t until this last Christmas that our team took nail polish to the next level! You have heard our team’s crazy Christmas stories in previous blogs from my teammates and how much we all love the Christmas spirit. But this year, Jeanette decided to go the extra mile and reach out to us teammates even more. She gave each teammate a gift bag filled with nail accessories. We each got 6 color polishes, a rapid dry top coat, nail strengthener, cuticle oil, nail polish remover and a bottle of hand lotion. I guess you can say this is where our craze started.

Since Christmas, there has been a fetish amongst our team with painting our nails, especially for games. Everyone has taken part! It’s like we all wanted to become a part of the Jayne and Jeanette nail painting party without even knowing it. With Jeanette’s generous gift, it was like an open invitation for everyone to join in. Lo and behold, nail painting has officially become an important part of our whole team.

I will be the first to admit that I had rarely painted my nails before this year. I think I have had one or two manicures in my whole life. Painting my nails has never been a priority, let alone a hobby of mine, and I am positive that some of my teammates are the same way. I don’t know what it is or what happened to us, but I find myself, like my teammates, making and planning out my time before games so I can be sure to paint my nails. My teammates and I are often talking about who is wearing what color and what colors we like better. It has actually been very enjoyable too! It makes me happy when I have a new color on my nails. When we put our hands in the huddle at the end of practice, it’s like a rainbow of colors on our fingers. How can that not bring a smile to your face?

Nail polish and painting nails has really become another entertaining thing that our team just seems to engulf. But let me reassure that painting our nails does not make our team any less tough or focused. It is merely a way to remind us that we are young women and we like looking nice and taking care of our bodies. And honestly, it is really fun to have a nail painting party!

The coaches joke that they think that Jayne plays well in pink and Jeanette has good games with purple or blue, but we don’t actually rank our color preferences on how we play with that color on. I think the coaches just might be a little jealous because they didn’t get an awesome gift from Jeanette like we all did.

So that’s the latest craze with our team. Keep your eyes peeled fans. Bring your binoculars if you need to. But I guarantee that there is an array of colors that you are missing out on the court! It’s the little things in life that keep our team staying pretty!

Go Card!!!


January 18, 2010


Hi Cardinal Fans!

I wanted to take some time to talk about one of the most important members of my family, our English bulldog Baxter. And when I say most important, I mean he is the one that hogs all of the attention, is spoiled the most by my mom, and never gets in trouble. He is almost three years old, and one of the cutest dogs you will ever see. He is also one of the biggest terrors ever. My family isn’t necessarily the greatest at training animals, and Baxter definitely takes advantage of that. He will chew or eat anything he can get his paws on. If we don’t leave our shoes in a place where we know that he can’t get them, we can almost bet on the fact that once we return home, our shoes will be in a mangled mess in the center of our family room. There have been numerous times that my sister or I had left a rubber flip flop in the kitchen where Baxter could get it, and we would come home and see hundreds of rubber pieces all over the floor. Some other things that Baxter loves to destroy are pillows and couch cushions. There have been times when we haven’t seen Baxter in a while and go find him on with a guilty look on his face, buried inside of a couch cushion with the fluffy filling all around him. We tried to take him to obedience school, but I don’t think he learned a thing.

Even after all of this misbehaving, Baxter is still treated like a king, especially by my mom. She doesn’t like to admit it, but she spoils him rotten. She used to make him scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast, and buys him a ridiculous amount of toys. One day, my mom was making meatballs for dinner, and my sister wanted to have one before she headed to practice. My mom said that she had to wait until after practice, as she was putting two meatballs and sauce into Baxter’s food dish. My sister was a little hurt to say the least. This past Christmas, my mom got him a coat because she was worried that he got too cold on his nightly walks. I had to remind her that he was a dog, and I doubt he cared that much. My sister, brother, and I always give her a hard time for how she treats Baxter, but we know she loves us just as much.

Go Card!

Ashley # 24

January 16, 2010

Game day rituals

Good day to all! It is a great pleasure to see that you have all joined me to celebrate a special episode of this week’s blog. As we explore this year’s Stanford Cardinal, we have and continue to divulge more about different niches. Amongst the several tendencies and characteristics of the players on the 2009-2010 Stanford Women’s Basketball Team, I have found that game day rituals or conventions are most prominent, unique, and widely dispersed. Shall we start with the eldest and work our way down? Indeed we shall!

Ros “Rah de Dah” Gold-Onwude – If you look for unexpectedness before a game, Ros is definitely your answer. Vigilance is the absolute key in catching her stealth. Not only is it game time, but the match tips off in about an hour and ten minutes. It is not until 5 minutes prior to stretching time that one may notice her slither into the locker room, shed her “bag lady” persona, and transform into the relentless #21 in full uniform.

Jayne “TT” Appel – This active player can be spotted in several settings prior to the onset of tip off. Most always, she proves consistent and meticulous with her game day habits. I have observed her in this order: Enter the locker room, change into her jersey, get taped or get hair done (always depending on training room traffic), relax outside on the chairs, stretch, hit some free throws, game day talk with Tara, and (one must never forget) a colorful handful of skittles! If you opt for consistency, opt for Twinkle Toes.

Michelle “Mich” Harrison – If you are more of an easy-goer before the game, Michelle can definitely assist you. Never too late or too early, Michelle always strolls in just in time and with no worries in the world. With Mich, you could expect a nice box of cookies before the game, a cute little puppy, or simply Michelle. Any will suffice for a down to earth game day preparation. I prefer the latter.

JJ “Ay JJ” Hones – Yes she is from Oregon and yes her major may be International Relations, but for those who are just downright Stanford advocates, JJ is your girl. She is the absolute definition of a Stanford gal, person, student, or whatever it may be! Whether she walks into the locker room with this week’s Newsweek, a textbook on World Geography, or the Bill of Rights, JJ is the definition of not just a student athlete but a STANFORD student athlete. She puts the “stud” in studious for those sophisticated Cardinal fans.

Melanie “Melly Mel” Murphy – For those fans that strive for a real Brooklyn style, outrageous, hip-hop, over the top type of game day convention, there is no better culprit than Melanie Murphy. Of the several extreme situations you can find Mel in prior to the game, she never fails to dance, pop, lock, drop, jiggle, and wiggle in any of these three circumstances: 1) Listening to Lil Wayne 2) Listening to Lil Wayne with Dr. Dre Beatz headphones and lastly 3) Listening to Lil Wayne with Dr. Dre Beatz headphones while harassing Kayla.

Kayla “O KKK” Pedersen – If you are a fan that enjoys concentrating and getting into the zone before the game, Kayla is your friend. From the moment she walks into the locker room to the second she steps onto the court, Kayla is poised and geared with iPod in ear and ball in hand as she shoots around confidently and comfortably before game time. Let’s GO!!!!!!!! O KKK!!!!!

Ashley “Ash” Cimino – If you are on a quest for diversity before the game find Ashley. Flexibility should be her middle name. She has several different looks. She can sport a cropped bun, a Japanese straight pony tail, one ankle brace, knee pre-wrap, or finger tape. Stay tuned people….

Hannah “Hana” Donaghe – Though good ole’ Hana has yet to join us on the court, she too entertains us with game day rituals. Even on a completely normal game day, she always adds an awkward quirk to the atmosphere. Whether it be an awkward finger wave or a “you’re mom” interjection, Hannah never fails.

Lindy “LuLu” LaRocque – If you are a fan that derives joy in yelling and screeching to get ready for the game, Lindy is your expert. Many have probably already witnessed LuLu’s screaming spells during warm ups. She can be yelling at you, with you, about you, or in the direct line of your eardrum. Any variety works; as long as she’s loud, you’ll like it.

Grace “the face” Mashore – Well the name is already self-explanatory, therefore a combination of any of her three faces are abundant in the winding minutes of the game. However I have noticed that if you cbast Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, or Sheryl Crow prior to the game, this girl is more than ready to play. Hmmm… unusual.

Sarah “Boothie” Boothe – When we shoot before games, she is effecient at rebounding our shots. On the contrary though, sometimes she gets hit with so many balls you would think the balls were rebounding her. If you seek hilariousness before the game follow all the loose balls.

Mikaela “Sunny” Ruef – I am not sure if Mikaela would call out to many on the Stanford Women’s Basketball Game Day Craig’s List. If you crave weirdness, randomness, and spasticity, Mikaela will suffice.

Lastly, Joslyn “ Tink Tink” Tinkle – Her name says it all. To find that twinkle in your star, Tinkle’s smiles, grins, giggles, and twinkles in her long lashed eyes will get you ready for the game.

It’s game day. Are you ready?

January 11, 2010

New Year's Eve competition

So I know some people already wrote about the holidays and what they did over break but I am just going to add to it. Overall, I would say that Christmas break was a success for our team. We got some big wins, a break from school, the chance to hangout with each other more outside of basketball, and some great sleep in the very comfy beds at the hotel.

On another note, one very important characteristic of our team is how competitive everyone is, and I mean everyone. For New Year’s Eve we had planned a nice lay back get together so that everyone could enjoy the evening. There was great food, lots of laughs, and the enjoyment of everyone’s company.

Then, as we were all finishing up our dinner, Tara came into the room asking everyone if we wanted to play a fun little game that she knew. As she started explaining the game we were all a bit unsure about it and how it would turn out but decided, “what the heck, why not?” We did not know what we were getting into. The team split into two teams, including the coaches, and went to separate rooms. If anyone has played the game Taboo, it was along the lines of that game. Each team had to come up with as many names as they could for the other team. The other team would then have to take those names and describe them to their team as best they could so their team could guess the name. I was on Tara and Bobbie’s team along with Ros, Mel, Nneka, Hannah, Lindy, Ashley, Michelle, and Mikaela. To say the least, we pretty much dominated, mainly because we gave them some of the hardest names to describe, names that they had never even heard of. As we were all writing down names, we could hear Tara saying, “Make them as hard as you can so that it is hard for them to describe.” We were just following directions.

As each person on the other team pulled out the little pieces of paper you could see the confused looks on their faces as they were trying to figure out how to describe it. This probably made us laugh the hardest. Most of the time they would just move on to the next one because they had no clue what the name was. We were using names anywhere from painters, authors, and politicians to cartoon characters, singers, and actors from any time period. Things started to get competitive when they couldn’t get a good amount of the names we gave them. But to be fair, the other team did write down some easy ones to “make the game fun” as they kept saying. After the game people were still asking who some of the names were because they had never even heard of them before and all we could do was just laugh.

I am sure there will be a rematch in the near future because no one on our team likes losing. I guess that is why our team is so competitive in basketball too. I love our team and this is definitely a memory I will have of our team for 2009.


January 4, 2010

All about the (406)

Howdy y'all! I'm here to tell you all about the (406) and what goes on over there on my home front. I hope you will become a little more familiar with the Treasure State and show you all what it is that I find so special and unique about my state.

My daily routine in my homeland is quite different than the Cali routine I'm currently adjusting to. In Montana, I wake up every morning at 5:15 a.m., slip on my boots and go milk my cow, Agnes; she's a stubborn heifer. After I've provided milk for my family I go to feed the chickens and hens before I head to the barn. Next, I go to the barn and brush my beautiful thoroughbred horse (her name is Ruby). She loves the long rides to school with my sister and her horse, Mr. Ed. The two horses dread being left out in the cold all day waiting anxiously for our return, after a laborious day of school and basketball practice. As we gallop through the forest on the way home, my sister and I stop to gather firewood, that is used for cooking, heating, and good ol' family fun in the Tinkle tepee! and NO, we don't have electricity.

Okay I apologize, who am I kidding? Contrary to popular belief, not all Montanans live on farms in the middle of nowhere, nor does ANYONE ride a horse to school. I'm here to debunk the many myths associate with Montana!

Nicknamed the "406", the state has endless blue skies which I often admire late at night during trampoline sleepovers. Below the wide-open skies stand the beautiful snow tipped mountains that fill the chilled lakes, creating a visual oasis. Montana is popular for its recreational amenities that people nation wide come to take full advantage of. From the mid-afternoon river floating trips to the extreme snow sledding races, there is never a dull moment in the "Zoo".

We may only have one area code, have line dancing as a requirement for passing high school P.E., and often get the snarky reply, "Montana?" when asked where we're from. But if you ask any resident or visitor to this great state, everyone will agree Montana is a beautiful place, full of awesome people who YES, have running water.

P.S. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE California and Stanford, but home sweet home does and always will hold a special place in my heart.

Love Always,